The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2007
by Gail Salaway, EDUCAUSE, and Judith Borreson Caruso, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sept. 12, 2007, Educause Center for Applied Research
“This 2007 ECAR research study is a longitudinal extension of the 2004, 2005, and 2006 ECAR studies of students and information technology. The study, which reports noticeable changes from previous years, is based on quantitative data from a spring 2007 survey and interviews with 27,846 freshman, senior, and community college students at 103 higher education institutions. It focuses on what kinds of information technologies these students use, own, and experience; their technology behaviors, preferences, and skills; how IT impacts their experiences in their courses; and their perceptions of the role of IT in the academic experience.”
See Chapter 2 – “Introduction: A Sea Change in Thinking, Learning, Knowing and Learning” by Chris Dede, Harvard Graduate School of Education
See the article about this report, “Students’ ‘Evolving’ Use of Technology,” by Andy Guess in the Sept. 17, 2007 issue of Inside Higher Ed
. . . “The changes in technological habits aren’t revolutionary per se, as the authors point out; rather, students are making “evolutionary” gains in access to the Internet for everyday uses, inside the classroom and out. Perhaps the most visible of these changes is the continuing increase in the proportion of students with laptops, which has grown to 73.7 percent of respondents (while an almost-total 98.4 percent own a computer of some kind). More surprisingly, over half of laptop owners don’t bring them to class at all, with about a quarter carrying them to lectures at least once a week.”
“The amount of time spent on the Internet also shows no sign of abating, with an average of about 18 hours a week, for any purpose – and, on the extreme end, some 6.6 percent of respondents (mostly male) saying they spend more than a full-time job’s worth of 40 hours online a week. Most students use broadband, more are on wireless connections, and “smart phones” – all-in-one communications and personal data assistants – are also on the rise, with 12 percent owning one.”
“What they’re doing when they’re online is also changing somewhat, with the rise of Facebook and other social networking sites as the clearest trend this year (to 80.3 percent from 72.3 percent in 2006), along with streaming video and course management software, which 46.1 percent of respondents said they use several times a week or more (compared with 39.6 percent in 2006).” . . .
Facelifts for the Facebook Generation
by Andy Guess
Sept. 14, 2007, Inside Higher Ed
“Web sites aren’t about throwing some text and pictures onto a page anymore. Colleges, catching on to the evolving online habits of their prospective students, are starting to wise up – and that often means making their online presence more appealing to Facebook-surfing high schoolers.” . . .
“College and university Web operations have been adapting to these realities incrementally for some time, revamping their designs and adding more pictures, interactivity and various other bells and whistles. But more recent redesigns suggest that when institutions go back to the drawing board, the entire process is informed by a more all-encompassing conceptual framework that views site visitors as content creators, values user input and emphasizes showing over telling. In short, Web designers in higher education are starting to embrace the grab bag of technologies loosely referred to as “Web 2.0,” a realm in which streaming media are readily available, people can share or remix content and communication is always a two-way street.” . . .
The Chronicle Fears Second Life, Continued
by Bryan Alexander
Sept. 16, 2007, Infocult: Information, Culture, Policy, Education
“The Chronicle of Higher Education takes another whack at Second Life. Michael Bugeja wants readers to think about liability and ethical issues, primarily. It’s good advice, as one legal education blog observes. The author is also concerned about the nature of virtual worlds, insofar as they impact teaching and learning. It’s a fascinating article, at least in terms of fearsome cyberspace writing, and for considering how the Chronicle approaches technology.” . . .
Second Thoughts About Second Life
by Michael J. Bugeja
Sept. 14, 2007, Chronicle of Higher Education
“Chances are you have at least second-hand knowledge about Second Life, a virtual-reality world created by Linden Lab, in which avatars (digital characters) lease “islands” for real-life purposes — to sell products, conduct classes, do research, hold conferences, and even recruit for admissions. About nine million avatars reportedly interact on this digital landscape, in which dozens of colleges from around the world have set up islands.”
“One such institution is Ohio University. Last May, in the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech, a visiting avatar entered the university’s Second Life campus and fired at other avatars. According to the university’s student newspaper, The Post, the cyber-shooting constituted a behavior called griefing, “where one player harasses another for the sake of doing so.” We have enough trouble dealing with violence, assault, and sexual harassment in the real world, but few of us — even campus lawyers — know how the law applies in virtual realms vended by companies whose service terms often conflict with due process in academe.” . . .
Thoughts on “Analytics” and Privacy
by Michael Feldstein
Sept. 11, 2007 in Higher Education and Tools, Toys, and Technology
“The idea is that if you could get an early warning that a student is at risk, you can intervene and hopefully help that student get through a rough spot. Of course, developing this kind of tool raises all sorts of interesting problems, not the least of which is privacy.” . . .
“Campbell has pointed out that there are all sorts of competing moral obligations when it comes to data mining student behaviors that are captured in university IT systems, even when the intentions are the best. What do we have the right to look at? When do we have to ask the student’s prior permission, and when do we not? And what are the affirmative obligations? If we know we can find out how likely a student is to drop out, do we have a moral obligation to do so? And if we do, what moral obligation do we have to act on any such knowledge?”
Listen to the podcast of the Oct. 11, 2006 presentation, “Student Persistence: Using the CMS as an Early Warning and Intervention System,” by John Campbell, Lukas Leftwich, and Stephen Wanger.
What’s New about Library 2.0? Shift in Power
by Kathryn Greenhill
Sep 10th, 2007, Librarians Matter
“So, if being user centred is not new, and Library 2.0 isn’t only about new tools, what is new about it? Why should we lift our heads from the stuff we are already doing and take notice of it? To me, the new element that Library 2.0 brings to our libraries is a shift in power balance – between us, our users, suppliers, software vendors, non-users. Users are able to control parts of our library that they previously could not. Librarians are now able to control spaces outside our buildings. This is different.”
“Here’s some places where I think power relationships have changed.” . . .
Education Dept. Will Switch to Electronic FAFSA and Stop Distributing Paper Copies
by Paul Basken
Sept. 14, 2007, Chronicle of Higher Education
“The U.S. Education Department plans to change how it handles its main application form for student aid, by largely eliminating the distribution of paper copies. About 90 percent of applicants now use the online version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as Fafsa. Under the change, the department next year will stop routinely mailing cartons of paper applications to American high schools, according to Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education.” . . .
Minority Serving Institutions Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2007
Update from the American Council on Education
[On September 4] “the House passed the Minority Serving Institutions Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2007 (H.R. 694) on a vote of 331-59. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.”
“H.R. 694 authorizes new funding for minority-serving institutions for technology instrumentation and infrastructure that would allow them to strengthen academic instruction and research and improve connectivity and campus communication. The measure is virtually identical to S. 1650, which has been reported by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and is supported by ACE along with American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the United Negro College Fund.”
The legislation defines eligible institutions as: “(1) historically Black colleges or universities, (2) a Hispanic-, Alaskan Native-, or Native Hawaiian-serving institution; (3) a tribally controlled college or university; or (4) an institution with a sufficient enrollment of needy students as defined under the Higher Education Act of 1965.”
For more information see GovTrack.us