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Teaching with Technology Survey

Faculty Say Laptops, Mobile Phones Are Most Popular Student Devices

In our second annual Teaching with Technology Survey, faculty weighed in on students' favorite tech, the BYOD model, whether or not to ban devices in the classroom and more.

Any faculty member who has looked out at a sea of open laptops in class can tell you that the devices are the go-to technology for college and university students today. In fact, 57 percent of respondents in our 2017 Teaching with Technology Survey, which asked faculty to dish on their experiences with technology in the classroom, singled out laptops as the No. 1 favorite computing device used by their students. Mobile phones came in second, cited by 33 percent of respondents.

Perhaps bowing to those preferences, 79 percent of faculty said they allow students to use mobile phones in the classroom (sometimes with limitations), while 21 percent do not.

We wanted to know what role colleges and universities play in placing technology in the hands of students, and how faculty feel about it. While most faculty in our survey (74 percent) said their institutions do not provide computing devices to students, 58 percent of respondents think they should to some extent.

Slightly more respondents (60 percent) are in favor of the bring-your-own-device model for classroom learning. And 46 percent of respondents said their institutions require students to bring their own computing devices (an increase from 44 percent in 2016).

We also asked about students' use of technology at home. Sixty-two percent of respondents believe that the majority of their students (76 percent or more) can get online at home. That's an improvement from last year, when 56 percent said the same. While internet access is presumably needed for most coursework, just 6 percent of institutions provide connectivity at home for students in need.

In addition, nearly all faculty (95 percent) reported that they assign homework that requires technology use, but just 24 percent said their students are required to use a subscription/fee-based digital system for completing or turning in homework (such as Aplia or WileyPLUS).

The full results of the Teaching with Technology Survey appear in the July digital issue of Campus Technology. Highlights from the survey will also be posted on this site over the coming months. You can check back for ongoing coverage in our Research section.

Who Responded

Our survey polled 232 faculty members across the country about their use of technology in the classroom, their likes and dislikes, their predictions for the future and more. The majority of respondents (68 percent) come from public institutions, with 28 percent from private nonprofits and 4 percent working at for-profit schools. Seventy-two percent work at four-year colleges or universities; 26 percent are at community colleges (the remaining 2 percent designated their institutional level as "other").

Respondents represent institutions of a range of sizes, with about one-third (32 percent) working in colleges or universities with 2,500 to 9,999 students. Just under half (45 percent) of respondents are from institutions with 10,000 students or more.

Our respondents are veterans of higher education: The largest group (47 percent) has more than 20 years of experience, with 81 percent logging at least 11 years in the field.

The top three most common school and college types among our respondents are education (22 percent), business/business administration (17 percent) and liberal arts (12 percent). But overall, respondents work in a wide range of disciplines, from engineering and medicine to humanities and fine arts. The top 10 states with the most survey respondents are New York, Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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