Some Interesting Stuff

Recently I was asked to share some “interesting statistics” about what is going on here at PSU and on a national level with the use of technology by young people. Here are some points I thought could resonate. I didn’t editorialize too much, but my basic thoughts are below. What strikes me is how this leads us to such obvious conclusions about where time, energy, and dollars should be applied within our environments.

I don’t cite all this stuff, but nearly all of it is from various PSU reports or the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Please fell free to comment on these.

  • 40% of online teens watch TV on devices other than a TV. This is a real trend hitting our campus. I gave two guests lectures in freshman classes last week and all but a handful of them said that is what they do. This has big implications for the kinds of networks we provide and the amount of bandwidth we allocate.
  • Nearly a third of all PSU students created a rich media piece last year. Half of them did it for a class which means faculty are beginning to accept digital media as evidence of learning. That means the other half did it just for fun. Looks like the move towards rethinking our lab spaces is a good move. The idea that we should put a Digital Commons at every campus may help grow and support this trend.
  • Nationally approximately 80% of college students are in Facebook. This is growing as Facebook continues to open to younger and more diverse audiences. At PSU, last November, the number was at 83%.
  • The most interesting statistics related to FB are that 60% log in daily, 80% update their profiles several times a month, and that 23% of our students spend more than 5 hours a week in social environments (FB and MySpace). This proves to me that they’ll spend lots of time online if given the right kids of spaces to participate in.
  • According to Pew Internet and American Life Project nearly 50% of online teens are sharing content online. This isn’t file sharing, it is sharing pictures, text, and other forms of their media. 64% engage in at least one form of content creation. Girls dominate most elements of online content creation and sharing with 35% of teen girls blogging, and 54% sharing photos. Compared with 20% of boys blog and 40% share pictures. Boys are nearly twice as likely to share their videos online.
  • Why is this the case? 89% of them report that people comment on them some of the time. Most of them use their social networks to control access — Facebook is the number one photo sharing site on the Internet.
  • We know they use all sorts of modes to communicate, but they use modes differently with different groups of people. Text messages are used to connect with peers, while email is “for old people.”
  • Digital video is explosive at the moment. It is empowering new types of conversations across the web. Visit youtube and notice not only the number of views on videos, but the number of comments and video responses. It is stunning.
  • Internet users watched 10 billion videos online in December 2007.
  • 73% of adults own cell phones, 63% of teens own them, and at PSU 93% of students own a cell phone.
  • Nearly 90% of PSU students own MP3 players. iPod is the majority.

4 thoughts on “Some Interesting Stuff

  1. This is very helpful information for those of us thinking about how best to implement technology in the classroom. Do you have some more statistics on the number of undergraduate students at PSU who own a laptop?

    Also, I would be interested in any other information you might have about what hardware and software we can expect our students to own when they arrive on campus. For example, what is the Mac to PC breakdown, does everyone own a computer of some kind?

  2. Chris, I can share all of that. In the most recent FACAC survey we asked all those kinds of questions. We’ve been collecting data to help us make decisions for around 20 years now. I’ll share more in a future post!

  3. Good analysis Cole. I’ve gained a better insight to our student’s technology utilization. This information will help me in designing course projects as I build my syllabi for fall 2008 semester.

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