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Study: Student Attitudes on Studying With Tech

October 18, 2016

College students strongly believe digital learning technology and devices have a positive impact on their educational outcomes, a study by McGraw-Hill Education and Hanover Research found. The 2016 Digital Study Trends Survey, an annual survey of students on their attitudes toward technology in the classroom, also found a steady increase in the number of students who say smartphones and other mobile devices are "extremely important" to studying. The share of respondents giving that answer has this year risen to 22 percent, up from just 13 percent in 2014. Other findings include:

  • A majority of students said technology makes studying more accessible (82 percent), helps them earn better grades (81 percent) and improves their focus (62 percent).
  • Cost remains a barrier to technology use. Less than two-fifths of students (39 percent) said they would buy technology not required for a course, even if it was recommended.
  • The laptop remains the No. 1 device for studying; 90 percent of students said the device is extremely or very helpful, easily beating professors and teaching assistants (72 percent), textbooks (67 percent), and learning management systems (63 percent).

Hanover Research surveyed 3,311 students, ranging from freshmen to Ph.D. students, for the study. The full report is available for download here.

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Carl Straumsheim

Carl Straumsheim, Technology Correspondent, joined Inside Higher Ed in 2013. He got his start in journalism as a video game blogger for Norway's third largest paper, Dagbladet, at age 15, and has since dabbled in media criticism, investigative reporting and political coverage. Straumsheim (pronounced STROMS-hyme) boasts that he once received a perfect score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, which enabled him to pursue a bachelor's degree in English from LaGrange College and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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