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Higher Education Snapshot: January 2010

posted January 12, 2010

College students average 18 hours per week online; The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $12.9 million to community colleges.

Daily Online Feed

College students average 18 hours per week online, and 94% go online at least once a day, according to a survey last fall of 1,200 undergraduates by Student Monitor. The research group also found that 69% of students access the Internet wirelessly. Most go online to check grades, check out someone else's profile, complete a class assignment, send or receive e-mail or check the weather. As for social media, 92% spend time on Facebook during a typical week, up from 84% last spring. Students using Facebook spend an average of 160 minutes weekly on the site.

Community Spirit

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently pledged to fund $12.9 million in technology-related grants to the nation's community colleges. The goal is to improve graduation rates by using virtual learning environments and Web 2.0 tools to fundamentally change how community college students learn. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reports that the United States ranks 10th in the world in the percentage of adults with a postsecondary credential. While more students than ever before are enrolled in some kind of educational program, 75% of first-time community college students enrolled in two-year associate degree programs do not graduate within three years.

Enterprise Content

Do colleges and universities deploy enterprise content management? Not really, according to a recent EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) study on institutional data management in higher education. Only about 12% of respondents to the ECAR study say their institution has a fully integrated enterprise content management system; 36% say they have a mix of enterprise and local best-of-breed solutions. However, looking ahead about three years, most colleges and universities expect to move in an enterprise-oriented direction – 32% are favoring an enterprise content management system, and 28% say they will have an enterprise best-of breed environment for content management. Another 31% say they will have a mixed enterprise/local best-of-breed environment.

Source: ECAR

Photo Credit: Philip Nealey/Getty Images

Bullish on E-Books

Electronic books appear to have a future on college campuses: More than 75% of IT managers at colleges either agree or strongly agree that e-books will be an important resource on campus within five years. The promising outlook for e-books was consistent across all college segments, from community colleges to large research universities. Despite the positive appraisal of e-books, IT managers were somewhat less sure about e-book readers. Only 66% say e-book readers will be important platforms for instructional content in five years.

Source: The Campus Computing Project

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