Knowing Vs. Perceiving the Needs of Students

I’d like to open up the topic of knowing versus perceiving.

What would you say if I were I to ask you:

Do students use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone more?

It’s a bit of a tricky question because there is no context, though there are many in decision making positions at edu’s that have to rely on personal awareness, experience, observation, anticipated needs, and any number of other concerns before deciding to embark on a change of the infrastructure.

For the past 4 years a technology survey has been conducted here at SLC and we’ve learned some surprising things.

  • Wireless was not only a technology of interest, it was imperative that it be in place everywhere.
  • Students like ebooks but aren’t interested in ereaders/tablets.
  • The scale of tech needed is not as dynammic or vast as a techy deciding what to purchase might think it to be.
  • Students are thrilled by Google Apps as their email and they use it as a backup for their work.
  • We now have a very accurate number of computers and other handheld tech that is brought to campus by students.

While we could have taken feedback from a number of students regarding wireless and extrapolated the needs, having the data provided decision makers on the tech and financial front what should take priority.

Other pieces of information were less obvious, especially the ebook interest, until it was discussed with students. Students need access to multiple books/documents in a classroom and ereaders limit their ability to flip to and from the key sections of text that they need when they need it in class. Books are still very popular because of this.

I wonder…

  • What mechanisms are you using to gauge technical desire and/or needs?
  • How involved are students, faculty and staff in new technology decisions?
  • What mistakes were made because there was no data or interest in a technology acquisition?

I welcome any thoughts on the idea of knowing vs. perceiving the needs of students at an edu.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: