Study measures how much students like technology

More than half of students responding to a recent survey said it is important or extremely important to have the latest technology.

The online survey, funded by Microsoft Canada and conducted by Youthography, also indicates that students ranked homework as their number one use of technology (99 per cent), overshadowing communicating online via e-mail, chat and IM (96 per cent), and listening to music (87 per cent).

Survey results also show students are using technology in devious ways; almost half of respondents had tried downloading an essay to hand in as their own, hacking into a secured network, downloading music illegally, stealing wireless signal, or downloading pornography.

Beyond the traditional desktop, CD players and mobile phones, students are also exploring newer technologies including PVRs (16 per cent), high definition TV (11 per cent) and VoIP (nine per cent).

Some students have taken technology to a new social level as 19 per cent of respondents admitted to dumping their boyfriend or girlfriend online.

According to the survey, male and female students are equally comfortable using technology, however, 10 per cent more males than females claimed to be proficient at using computers.

Male students also showed more eagerness to test the technology waters as 61 per cent said they were most knowledgeable about learning new software, compared to females at 53 per cent.

Unlike males who favoured technology for entertainment purposes, building Web sites and programming, females were more likely to use the computer for blogging and job searching.

Students also pointed to the need for better technology in academic institutions. When asked about how their schools could improve technology, students put “have more computers” in the number one spot; females more often than males. Acquiring better software and having wireless access was more important to male students than females.

“This survey underscores the fact that students are embracing technology and are hungry for more,” said Daniel Shapiro, academic program manager at Microsoft Canada.

“This tech-savvy generation will bring a range of beneficial skills to the workplace when they graduate, helping to boost the technology sector and the Canadian economy.”

The online survey was open to students from grade 11 to second-year university and college students from ages 17–20.

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