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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SU Technology Survey Reveals Student Trends

SALISBURY, MD---The desktop computer is disappearing.

That’s just one message Salisbury University gleaned from its annual Student Technology Survey. While some 98.6 percent of the 905 students responding to the survey this year owned computers, 68.5 percent of those computers were laptops. The trend toward laptops is especially prominent among freshmen and sophomores.

“The tech expectations of the University have grown dramatically,” said Jerry Waldron, SU chief information officer. “Students are increasingly mobile and are looking to communicate wherever they are, have access to campus services 24/7 over the Internet and get to class materials and research data bases all the time.”

The data also revealed:

• Any question about student cell phone ownership is over. Some 99.4 percent of students responding said they owned cell phones.

• Students report that SU’s e-mail system is the best way to contact them (81.5 percent), followed by cell phone (7.6 percent) and text message (7.1 percent).

• Almost all students have Internet access in their homes (97.8 percent).

• “Clickers” (student response devices) were adopted by some faculty in the 2006-07 school year. In spring 2008, some 28 percent of students reported using these buzzer-like devices for in-class real-time surveys, quizzes and attendance. The SU bookstore has sold more than 2,400 clickers since their introduction at Salisbury.

• Portable music players are even more popular this year than in the past. Some 71.5 percent of students surveyed reported owning an iPod, Zune or similar music device, up from about 60 percent in 2007.

• Social networking sites are still growing in popularity. More than 84 percent of students surveyed reported using FaceBook, with another 44 percent using MySpace (some use both).

• Though 98.6 percent of students own computers, 87 percent report continued use of SU’s computer labs at least once a week for homework, e-mail and Internet browsing. Though more students own laptops, this figure suggests many do not carry them around campus.

• Most students are using the Internet to obtain at least some class information directly from their faculty. Of the students surveyed, 78 percent are using MyClasses distance learning software in one or more of their classes. About 60 percent of SU faculty are also using the software.

• In all, some 89 percent of all students surveyed said technology available to SU students was comparable to or better than that found on other campuses.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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