Just as it is beginning to make little sense to say “digital cameras” when all cameras are digital, we may stop thinking in terms of “web-enabled” or “technology-enabled” classes and student work when so much of teaching and learning is in some way mediated by technology (p.18)
2. Rogers’ technology adoption cycle is still very useful, for example in explaining students’ adoption of technology tools- the bell curve – and their opinion about its potential for education.
3. Some technologies are widely used by students such as Social Networking Services (SNS), but that doesn’t mean they are also used for education, or that students would like to use them for education.
Fewer than 8% used them [SNS] to communicate with instructors about course-related topics and fewer than 3 in 10 students said they were using an SNS in a course at the time of the survey. This pattern has not fundamentally changed since ECAR began asking about SNS use in 2008. While it is a truism within course design and pedagogical circles that “all leaning is social” it seems that learning (or at least courses and student-faculty interaction) is not occurring in the online social spaces where most students congregate.(p.22)
4. The main reason for students to use ICT in education is that it is convenient. About half of the students is convinced that it improves their learning and one third that is makes them more engaged in the courses. I wasn’t particularly impressed with these figures.
About half of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the use of IT in courses improves their learning … slightly more than a third of respondents agreed that they get more actively involved in courses that use IT.
What may be the ultimate question regarding IT in a student’s experience is a question that ECAR began asking the first year of the student survey in 2004: how much IT do they prefer in their courses? Using a 5-point scale from “no IT’ to “exclusive IT” we have found that responses over the last seven years have been remarkably consistent. Majorities of students have told us every year that they prefer only a “moderate” amount of technology in their courses.
In general I found very little “new” information in the ECAR study. It seems to me that a lot of energy has been put to obtain quantitative data with very little lasting value. However, the rapid evolving nature of ICT seems to make these research results obsolete before they are published. Changing meanings of concepts (like moderate use of technology) and variations in the questionnaires make the longitudinal data difficult to interpret.
Personally, I would prefer a more qualitative approach for this type of research. The Kennedy (2006) paper seems to do just that, focusing on collecting good practices of how students use technology to support their learning and how teachers use technology to support their teaching.