How Tech Is Changing College Life

It’s not your parent’s college anymore. With technology, the landscape of college education has done a complete turnaround. Gone are the days of notebooks, printed syllabi, and textbooks. Now it’s iPads®, smartphones, and ebooks. Here’s a look at the modern college student and how they fare technologically on the university campus.

How Tech Is Changing College Life

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College Students and Tech

If there are two things that can be counted on, it’s these: college students have become increasingly dependent on technology; and college students and technology are virtually a recession-proof market.

College Students and Technology: Co-Dependent

  • 73% of college students (sample size of 500) said they cannot study without technology. [1]
  • 38% of college students cannot go 10 minutes without checking their email, tablet, laptop, or smartphone. [1]
  • 70% of students use keyboards to take notes (no more paper). [1]
  • 65% use digital devices to create presentations. [1]
  • 91% of students used email to communicate with professors. [1]
  • 98% of students who own an ereader read etextbooks. [1]

Student Tech Spending

  • Students spent $13 billion on electronics in 2009. [2]
  • Digital textbooks cost approximately 40% less than printed textbooks. [2]
  • Retailers are selling $400 netbooks used by students primarily for term papers and note taking. [2]

Fun Fact #1

  • Community college students are less reliant on digital tools than 4-year college students and graduate students. [3]

Goodbye Notepad … Hello iPad®: Tech Tools and Apps for College Students

Slowly but surely, the notepad is going away and the iPad® is taking over in lecture halls across America. With this technology comes hundreds of tech tools and apps for the modern college student.


  • Skype™ is not new, but with a smartphone app, it is popular in universities. [4]
  • Video chat tool for virtual study groups and calling friends at home. [4]
  • Farewell, phones.

Evernote® Peek

  • Virtual flashcard system for the iPad®. [4]
  • The fun of the app could encourage more studying. [4]
  • The app even keeps score and grades the student. [4]
  • Farewell, 3” x 5” cards.

Grades 2

  • Grade calculator [4]
  • Students can calculate what they need to score on a test. [4]
  • Tracks GPA and course credits. [4]
  • Serves as a reminder system for assignment due dates. [4]
  • Farewell, calculator.

Snoozerr Recordings

  • Audio recorder for long lectures and study groups. [4]
  • Includes a camera where student can capture a visual. [4]
  • Snoozerr also pairs the image with the audio.
  • Farewell, voice recorder.


  • Create tasks and to-do lists. [4]
  • Track homework assignments and readings. [4]
  • App can be synced to web interface. [4]
  • Farewell, campus paper planner.


  • Uses GPS to find essential college spots: [4]
    •  banks
    • gas station
    • coffee shops
    • grocery stores
    •  restaurants
    • bars

Farewell, campus phone book! [4]

Fun Fact #2

  • Undergraduate and graduate students (18 – 24 years) have the fastest Internet connections among age groups [5]

The Future of the Classroom

Textbooks and notebooks are not the only items being taken over by technology on the college campus. Online courses are becoming an increasingly popular option.

Location of Present and Future Learning

  • 12 million college students currently take one or more classes online. [6]
  • This figure is expected to exceed 22 million in 5 years. [6]
  • In 2014:
    • 5.14 million students will take classes in physical classroom [6]
    •  3.55 million will take ALL classes online [6]
    • 18.65 million will take some classes online [6]

Fun Fact #3

  • College students tune down the tech when studying for final exams in the library. [7]

Times are changing on university campuses. Campus bookstores are not only filled with books, but also laptops and iPads®. Students with their smartphone are as common as logo apparel. Perhaps the campus of the future will exist on a computer screen rather than a classroom.



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