Tech Trends | News

Tech Report: Students Gear Up for Fall

Students arriving on campus this fall will carry with them an average of seven devices.

Gearing Up
According to a new report from re:fuel agency, about 86 percent of college students currently own laptops, the most popular gadget for college-aged Americans. Smart phones, in second place, are owned by 78 percent of students — up 9 percent from last year, according to re:fuel. Printers were the third most popular category, at 69 percent.

In total, according to re:fuel's 14th annual College Explorer survey, students are coming to campus this year with, on average, 6.8 gadgets apiece, and they intend to buy more. About 35 percent of students reported they intend to buy a new smart phone in the coming year, among other devices on the purchasing agenda.

Tech Trends: Social Media & Texting
The survey also found that, contrary to predictions of Facebook's imminent downfall, students continue to use the popular social media site more than any other. About 86 percent of students use Facebook at least once per week, the same as last year. Instagram is gaining in popularity, with 42 percent of students reporting that they use the service (up from 40 percent last year). Twitter is in use by 39 percent of students, and Snapchat is used by 29 percent.

Social media services are used inside classrooms as well. According to the survey, 34 percent use social media while in class. But even more — 63 percent — reported texting while in class, with 22 percent saying the have texted someone in the same class.

Other findings from the survey included:

  • Students spend "10.7 hours per day on campus during the week and an additional 6.3 hours per day on weekends" on average;
  • 57 percent of students are taking at least one course online, up 12 points from last year and 34 points from 2009;
  • 42 percent of those students are taking an online course from a school other than the one the attend in person.

Additional details about the survey can be obtained by contacting re:fuel at


About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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