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 SRU Students ride technological wave 



Dec. 18, 2006
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:


Slippery Rock University students ride the technological wave

 SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – More Slippery Rock University students own a computer, cell phone and MP3 player or iPod this year compared to last according to an annual survey conducted by two SRU professors and a graduate student.

           While the survey of SRU student behaviors and attitudes toward technology on campus didn’t produce any surprising results, it did confirm how prevalent technology is in the daily life of a student, according to Mark Chase, associate professor of communication, and one of the survey authors.

           “We were very pleased to see just how technologically engaged our students are,” Chase said.

    Survey results showed that 97.99 percent of those surveyed owned a computer, compared to 93.75 percent in 2005. More than 96.39 percent of the students reported owning a cell phone in 2006, compared to 94.68 percent in 2005. One of the largest ownership increases was recorded in the MP3 or iPod category, with nearly 57 percent of the respondents reporting they own such a device this year compared with only 32 percent last year.

        Chase collaborated with Mark Banks, professor of communication, and Meghan Herrod of Pittsburgh, a graduate student in English and secondary education. The authors distributed a questionnaire to 930 students in public speaking classes.

    “It was interesting how so many of the numbers increased, such as ownership of computers, MP3 players and iPods,” Herrod said.

      Survey data showed that more than 95 percent of the students used a computer daily with most reporting (46.59 percent) that they spend one to three hours per day on the computer. Students report using their computers for a variety of purposes; communication, 58 percent; entertainment, 47 percent; coursework, 24 percent, and research, 16 percent.

           SRU students have embraced technology to make their lives easier. More than 98 percent report creating material in Microsoft Word; 95.38 percent have created a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation; and 81.73 percent have worked in Microsoft Excel.

           Like their colleagues across the nation, more than 88 percent report having an active account in Facebook, MySpace or a similar site.

            Not as popular in the technology race were the PDA, Palm Pilot or Pocket PC with only 6 percent reporting that they owned such a device.

           “This tells us what students want and will support,” Chase said. “Should we continue to implement change, such as moving toward more wireless networks? Absolutely. This is leverage for purchasing software and continuing to update labs and classrooms.”

 Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.

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