Students’ expectations about technology

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.

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3 Responses to “Students’ expectations about technology”

  1. Paul Ayres Says:

    Three quarters (74%) of the online group expect to have unrestricted access to the internet on the university’s
    system. However, those who rarely or never use social networking sites are not as expectant in this regard – only 57% would expect unrestricted access. (p.23)

    Shows social networking is king and seems to make you more committed to freedom of speech!

    Some Second Life based discussions going on at eFoundations – sadly there seems to have been a rather poorly worded question – How often, if at all, do you do the following? Take part in an online community, for example a “virtual world” such as Second Life. – I wonder what the numbers would have been like if they had used World of Warcraft as their suggestion, or perhaps those who know more about methodology than I, would like to comment on potentially ambiguous terms such as “online community”, “virtual world” or even suggesting an example such as Second Life, in terms of biasing the responses.

  2. GadgetGadget.info - Gadgets on the web » Blog Archive » Students’ expectations about technology Says:

    […] Matt Buchanan wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerptFollowing 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 … […]

  3. Where are all the YouTube educators? « The Ancient Geeks Says:

    […] the real revolution; less sexy, but a more historic sea-change in how students learn. Clue: look at what students are actually using the Internet for. I’m talking about video sharing and, particularly at […]


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