Waking up to a brand new day, rushing to finish breakfast, picking up your bag and lunch box, ringing bells here and there, and the singing of the Philippine National Anthem – where are we at? Hello, dear University, we meet again!
Now that it’s back to school season, I wanted to know how technology plays in the lives of college students and how they keep themselves abreast with technological advancements.
In a short survey I gave out to them, I asked the following major questions: (1) what is their best buddy in terms of gadget; (2) which electronic device they want to have that will greatly help them in school; and, (3) what technology-related problems are there in their university that they want to be fixed.
Survey's respondents had an age range of 16 to 24 and were dominated by males coming from different universities. While some consider themselves non-techie people, 90% said that blogs and the Internet as a whole is their gateway to know what’s in and what’s out in technology. This simply means that blogs have been effective mediums in capturing the minds of students and in teaching them new developments not taught in school.
In the battle of being the most important gadget they have for schooling, 60% responded laptop while 40% said it’s their smart phone. True enough, nothing beats having a laptop around since it can do so many things in just one device. However, with the rise of smart phones allowing users to do more complex tasks within the phone, it has been considered as a great tool for students as well.
It’s not a surprise though that most of the students nowadays think that a tablet would greatly help them with school work. It’s something that most of them wish to have. Why? They want something lighter and more compact than a laptop. Apart from that, tablets are great to carry around and easy to open, rather than the need to flip and turn on a laptop.
If we working professionals are complaining about slow internet connections at home or office, can we blame these kids who want a better and faster connection in their universities? Some campuses don’t even have WiFi, a few noted. Can you imagine how they thirst for information and communication coming from online?
University administrators need to understand that students play more and explore more, and these are part of their journey to adulthood. You see, Internet is everything we need to know. Why can’t campuses dedicate a big amount to improve on their internet infrastructure in schools? Is this because they are playing on the mentality that our internet connections aren’t good elsewhere, so why improve on a micro level?
In the eyes of students, they see technology as a great mechanism to improve education. It is a “magical multiplier” of a teacher, where students’ learning doesn’t stop at the end of a school day. Rather, they can go online to access tutorials and resources to assist them in education. Technology can give new opportunities for learning, collaborating, and creating – it is indeed a very powerful tool for education.
This article is my twenty-first contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of the Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on July 01, 2011 (Friday) in the quarterly supplement 'Digital Generation.' You can view the PDF version at Page 23 here.
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