Higher education has played its part in the development of modern digital technology, with innovations such as LCD screens, fibre optics and the internet first uncovered by university researchers¹. Now, digital technology is beginning to return the favour – shaping the learning experiences of university students.

Using data from over 150 US institutions, a survey from EDUCAUSE reveals the relationship between students and technology inside and outside the classroom. Of note is technology’s role as a key driver of student interest, as well as the laptop’s position as the top digital device for learning (in contrast to the wider digital economy’s alignment around the smartphone). Ultimately, if these trends towards a more digitised education sector continue, the phrase ‘hitting the books’ may soon require updating.

Other observations include:

  • A majority of students would like to see more technologies implemented, including web-based content, alert systems and recorded lectures.
  • More than three quarters of students said technology aided successful course completion.
  • Fewer than half of students admitted to being distracted in class by their digital devices.
education technology