Following on from the earlier post about what students use the internet for, I’m grateful to Lisa Whistlecroft for drawing my attention to a survey conducted by Ipsos MORI for the JISC on school-leavers’ expectations of ICT at university. The report confirms the ubiquity of social networking:
Only 5% of the online sample claimed never to use this and 65% said that they used it regularly – with females more likely to use it regularly than males (71% against 59% respectively). Three-fifths (62%) use wikis, blogs or online networks, which can also be used as a tool of social networking.
Many of the sample saw themselves as having “graduated” from MySpace to Facebook:
“Facebook is more about identity, and communication, whereas MySpace is where you get stuff… about poems and crying”
Instant messaging has an even higher reported take-up. Some comments said that they did not expect the same internet filtering at university that they had been used to at school. The idea that universities might restrict access to social networking sites emerged as an emotive issue:
“I can assure governing bodies that this seriously hampers social activities and especially easing into university life. I do not think there should be any restrictions on the content that I am able to view – a restriction would be in breach of my rights. It would also restrict free speech and the ability to learn.”
Overall, the picture emerging is that technology is only appreciated for the purpose it serves, not for any “wow” factor due to pure novelty. Hooray for that.