Thursday, April 5, 2012

Digital Devices and College Students 2012

Each year I do a technology survey of our students to see what devices they own and how they are are using technology. The 2012 survey had some interesting findings. I have written about the rapid growth in Smart phone ownership (now at 70%). I looked further to see what other devices students own. Here is what I found in the March 2012 survey of 616 students.

iPad 11.7%
Tablet(other) 6.0%
Netbook 3.1%
iPod (traditional, Nano, etc.) 58.8%
iPod Touch 43.7%
eReader (all brands) 17.4%
Flip or other video camera 26.8%
I don't own any of these 8.8%

We see a couple of interesting trends. The number of tablet computers has doubled over the past year. Netbooks never got traction and are probably not going to go anywhere. Virtually all students own an Apple portable music player. With the iPod Touch at 43% we have many more additonal wifi ready devices. When added to the many more Smart phones on campus and the almost 100% laptop ownership, we see some heavy new loads on the existing wireless network. We have more devices now than we do students.

The number of eReaders has increased with the percentage of readers jumping from 9.3% in 2011 to 17.4% in 2012. Again, another wifi ready device. Cameras ownership has dropped a few points from 30.2% in 2011 to 26.8 this year. With most Smart phones including a digital still and video cameras, these numbers will probably continue to drop. The percentage of students reponding that they "do not own any of the devices" dropped notably from 36% in 2011 to 8.8% in 2012.

So in additonal to the now ubiquitous laptop and cell phone we are seeing more decices in general with some students owning 3-4 wifi ready devices. The next question is, how are they using these devices? Is it for educational or recreational purposes, or both. More news coming next time.

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