College students today are enjoying an entirely different experience than those who attended even just a few years ago. Thanks to a plethora of digital tools and other technological advances, the higher education world has been transformed. Let’s take a closer look at a few key ways technology is reshaping college life.
A new way of studying
A recent survey conducted by McGraw-Hill Education found that 82 percent of college students say that digital tools, like laptops, tablets and apps, have helped them spend more time studying. Furthermore, 60 percent of students say they use their smartphones for studying. And while 74 percent say they prefer to study at home, due to access to better technology, many libraries are modernizing to become high-tech, collaborative learning environments.
These days, you can take a class at just about any school in the world right from the comfort of your own living room. At last check, more than 6 million students reported taking at least one online class. That figure represents more than a quarter of all higher education enrollments. And as more and more colleges begin offering the flexibility of distance learning, these numbers are expected to continue going up.
Digital note taking
Bye-bye notebooks and pens, hello digital note-taking. According to the McGraw-Hill survey referenced above, the majority of today’s college students say their laptops are their most important tool for learning. That’s primarily due to the fact that they enable faster and more seamless note-taking. Students are also relying on a variety of different apps to help with audio recordings and transcriptions, making it easier than ever to keep track of pertinent class-related information.
Real-time communication and collaboration
It used to be that college students who were working together on projects had to pick a central meeting place to gather, share notes and collaborate. With cloud technology, students can now connect virtually from anywhere. Digital file sharing and real-time collaboration enable the exchange of ideas and make ongoing project management easier than ever. Virtual chat rooms and hangouts let students see one another without actually having to be together physically.
Today’s college experience is far different than it was in recent history, and as tech continues to improve and innovate, life in higher education will also change. It will be interesting to see what the future will bring for tomorrow’s students.
What do you think? Is technology making the college experience better or are there downsides? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.