The 2015 Student Tech Survey revealed that there are pros and cons to students becoming more tech savvy, especially when it comes to social media and smartphone use.
The survey was conducted across South African tertiary education institutions by World Wide Worx and Student Brands.
More than 2,300 students participated in the survey, conducted to establish trends in the student technology landscape.
A key question in the survey was whether students felt they were addicted to social networks. The answers showed that it was an issue, but not an overriding one.
Only 11% admitted to being very addicted to social networking, although a further 43% said they were “a little addicted”.
Instant messaging, on the other hand, saw double the proportion – 20% – admit to being very addicted. 35% said they were a little addicted.
Exactly a quarter of students acknowledged that they gave their smartphones and social networks priority over studying for tests and exams.
25% of students admitted using smartphones during lectures instead of paying attention. One in five said they were emotionally affected by what they saw or shared on social media.
89% of students said technology like smartphones, the Internet, and social media helped them research better, while 67% said it helped them increase their knowledge of the subject they were studying.
Other benefits cited were that it assisted in sharing information (60%), learning studying techniques (42%), and having a channel for discussions with lecturers (38%).
“Technology delivers both the positive and negative for students,” said World Wide Worx. “The overwhelming finding of the survey, though, is that it enhances students’ academic and social lives and their lifestyles in general.”