Smartphone Distribution for Students in Class Today

At the start of my CORE11-114 Knowledge Society class this semester I set up a survey page based on a Google Spreadsheet to collect some background information about their digital literacy and computing devices. After 3 weeks I had 104 responses from a class of 172, a 60% response rate.

Using a free Google Docs spreadsheet as a survey form is very straightforward and does not suffer the low response limits of other free tools like SurveyMonkey and PollDaddy. Google Docs also provides a useful summary feature which can be supplemented with the full features of Google charts.

I won’t present all the results here as they are very specific to my subject, but a couple of more generic results are given below. Note that the students are representative of our whole university and are drawn from all our faculties of Business, Technology & Sustainable Development, Health Sciences & Medicine, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Law. For half the students this was their first semester, and just over half are from overseas.

Computing Devices 25-06-2010 SNAG-01 

The distribution of desktops and laptops between Windows and Mac are predictable with use of Macs in education being well above the less than 10% penetration across the world. For me the big surprise was the 32% of the student sample having access to a smartphone capable of displaying web pages. My own prediction would have been between 50% and 60%, although a number of colleagues have commented that 32% seems a high number. What do you think?

One other question about the use of online email services is worth reporting here.

25-06-2010 SNAG-02

It is no surprise that Live Mail leads the pack but nevertheless the 72% share is higher than I expected.

If any reader has similar stats please leave a link in the comments.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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