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Digital learning technology’s increasing role in the classroom

Students studying in cafe with laptops Photo courtesy of Nicola Sap De Mitri

Over 80% of college students report that technology is improving their grades and study habits. In August 2016 McGraw-Hill and Hanover Research surveyed 3,311 students at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate level to assess their digital study habits and the role technology has in their education. The findings demonstrate that mobile and digital learning technology is playing an increasingly integral role within college classrooms and student life.

One of the biggest takeaways from the study is that students are expecting more personalized learning experiences and environments. For example, the number of students who say it is extremely important to use mobile devices to interact and study for class has increased 9% since 2014. If classrooms are not already integrating these technologies, they may be more strongly encouraged to adopt them from the college.

Other findings from the report include:

  • Students overwhelmingly choose to study at home (74%). Only 14% report studying in the library and 4% elsewhere on campus.
  • Top devices used for studying include: laptop (91%), smartphone (60%), and tablet (32%).
  • The best-liked aspects of technology are: mobility (65%), personalization (21%), and price (12%).
  • Paying out of pocket remains a barrier to many students. Only 39% say they will purchase supplementary learning technology for a course, even if it is highly recommended.

Digital learning technology is providing students with new opportunities to study, engage with course material, and improve their grades. Despite this, cost remains a significant barrier to students who may be relying on colleges to provide access to technology.

For more information, the full study is available for download here.

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About the Author: Dustin is a senior account manager with DesignedUX, providing communications and marketing strategy to organizations in education and technology. Dustin is also a part-time faculty member at Centennial College and serves on the board of the Canadian Public Relations Society.

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