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Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years

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Starting in 2007, Graz University of Technology has conducted an annual poll amongst its new students about their IT preferences and competences. After ten years of survey it is time to consider the overall results. Based on more than 7700 data records we can obviously state that freshmen have changed significantly according to their IT devices ownership, their communicational behavior using IT devices, as well as their usage of Web 2.0 tools. But there are some facts that have remained unchanged, such as the very low usage of Twitter or the usage of e-learning platforms at secondary school level, which is only slowly rising. Furthermore, the long-time survey tracks and reflects international trends, such as the outstanding hypes of Facebook and WhatsApp, replacing SMS over the last three years. We can conclude, that our students have become mobile, social, smart, and media driven.
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Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven
The Way Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years
Walther Nagler
Educational Technology, Graz University of Technology, Austria
walther.nagler@tugraz.at
Martin Ebner
Educational Technology, Graz University of Technology, Austria
martin.ebner@tugraz.at
Martin Schön
Educational Technology, Graz University of Technology, Austria
martin.schoen@tugraz.at
Abstract: Starting in 2007, Graz University of Technology has conducted an annual poll amongst
its new students about their IT preferences and competences. After ten years of survey it is time to
consider the overall results. Based on more than 7700 data records we can obviously state that
freshmen have changed significantly according to their IT devices ownership, their
communicational behavior using IT devices, as well as their usage of Web 2.0 tools. But there are
some facts that have remained unchanged, such as the very low usage of Twitter or the usage of e-
learning platforms at secondary school level, which is only slowly rising. Furthermore, the long-
time survey tracks and reflects international trends, such as the outstanding hypes of Facebook
and WhatsApp, replacing SMS over the last three years. We can conclude, that our students have
become mobile, social, smart, and media driven.
Introduction
In 2001 Prensky stated our students have changed radically. Today‘s students are no longer the people our
educational system was designed to teach“. This statement triggered a discussion about the way our youth had
changed, nearly unnoticed by us. This new generation was likely called “net generation(Oblinger & Oblinger,
2005) or digital natives(Schulmeister, 2008). The consideration, that our growing up youth is dealing with a lot of
different digital devices and applications as well as information, leads easily to the conclusion to change the way of
educating and schooling as well. Although many efforts had been made to support this theory (Conole et al., 2006)
(Margaryan et al, 2011) (Bullen et al, 2001), the “net generation” could not be seriously pinpointed.
Our first research study on that issue took place in autumn 2007 with a survey among freshmen coming to Graz
University of Technology (TU Graz). By now, after ten years of this survey, we face very differentiated results and
progresses towards the ownership of digital devise and the usage of Web 2.0 applications. Besides moderate or no
changes, we can also confirm awesome booms as well as long lasting trends indicating a sustainable change of
society. With the help of our long-term study, also TU Graz tries to react to these progressions in a meaningful
manner. To take an example: The number of PCs, offered by the university to their students, has nearly halved
during the last 10 years. Today’s students simply just need power sockets and WiFi; they bring their own hardware
along. This paper focuses on the results of this year´s survey (2016) as well as it summarizes and outlines the results
and changes during the last ten years.
Ten Years of Survey
Starting in 2007, the Department for Educational Technology (ET) (former Department for Social Learning) at TU
Graz has asked its freshmen to go through a written questionnaire at the very beginning of their study (Nagler &
Ebner, 2009) (Ebner & Nagler, 2010) (Ebner et al, 2011) (Ebner et al, 2012) (Ebner et al, 2013) (Ebner et al, 2014)
(Nagler et al, 2015) (Nagler et al, 2016). The survey mainly investigates the Web 2.0-, IT-, and Social Media
competences and preferences of our freshmen, to keep the e-learning services and strategy of TU Graz up with
forward-looking initiatives. Besides this annual part of the questionnaire, we always have a special focus on latest
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
trends. This year (2016) we picked out the issues “Pokemon GO” andBitcoins”. The results of these two special
topics will be discussed within the general analysis of the survey where it fits best. Generally, the questionnaire
results in a high return rate of approximately 50% of all new students, which roughly equals 1000 people. In 2016
the survey has given a significant sample of n=944 data records. Until today, 7795 students have been queried since
2007 (n2007=578, n2008=821, n2009=757, n2010=702, n2011=632, n2012=715, n2013=789, n2014=968, n2015=889, and
n2016=944).
The following chapter, “Results and Findings of the Survey in 2016”, points out the most noticeable results of this
year´s survey (2016). It is split into the appropriate subchapters “equipment ownership”, Communication
Behavior”, “IT at secondary school level”, and “Web 2.0 Activities”. This standard analysis is followed by a chapter
focusing on the main topic of the research study, which, this year, is a resume about the last ten years of the survey
and its consequences. Furthermore, the subchapter about “Web 2.0 Activities” compares and distinguishes a general
usage of Web 2.0 tools from a usage for learning intentions at school or even privately. The term “Web 2.0” may not
qualify all of the given selections correctly, but we use it to keep the wording simple. Students had to check both, an
estimation of their general and their learning usage for each selection. They could choose between a usage quality of
“never”, “rarely”, “often”, or “daily”, as well as “unknown”, in case a selection is not known.
Results and Findings of the Survey in 2016
Which Trends Can be Seen in Regards to the Ownership of Technology?
Figure 1 displays a comparison of the ownership of different devices by first-year’s students at TU Graz between
2007 and 2016. Because technology in general has developed a lot since 2007, some selections queried in the survey
have changed during the years. As we try to catch trends and focus on technologies before they have established, we
introduced “Wearables” to this year´s survey (2016), split into the selections “Activity tracker”, “Smart watch”,
“Smart glass”, and “Other wearable”. Furthermore, the selection “Portable power packs” (for mobile devices) is new
to the survey as well. In contrast, we skipped the selections “Symbian mobile”, “Windows mobile”, and “Other
mobile” this year (2016). The results for those selections have become negligible little since 2014 and are not
supposed to rise again although they will be still ascertained in future.
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Figure 1: Comparison of devices used by first year’s students at TU Graz between 2007 and 2016
As in last year´s survey (2015), we see a steady, ongoing trend according to major technologies but also some
fluctuations. Last year´s (2015) sudden break down of iPod ownership could be verified; it remains low. “Other
MP3 players” does not seem to follow rules. “PC” is still going down for the benefit of “Laptops and Netbooks”.
Even more, “Laptops and Netbooks” overtake “PC” for the first time, since mobile computer devices have been
asked separately (2011). It seems that the ownership of Apple productions has reached a saturation, except the one
for “iPhone”; but “Mac”, “iMac”, and “iPad” decreased a bit. Nevertheless, the ownership of mobile devices tops
the one for workstations in total and is still increasing. The total number of mobile phones outreaches 100% for the
first time (102%) whereby the one for smartphones scratches 99% (Android 68%, followed by iPhone 30%).
The selection “IPTV” increased by a third compared to last year (2015) and holds at 22%. Relatively, it is the
highest growth in this part of the survey in 2016. “Portable power packsare used by one out of three (35%); but we
have no reference values yet to this selection. “Wearables” are definitely lower than 10%; “Activity trackers”, such
as pedometers, reach 6,5% at least. Technology and functionality of smart glasses seem not to be convincing,
therefore the result is very low (2%), as expected.
Which Trends Can be Seen in Regards to Communication Behavior?
The massive and impressive change of communication behavior, that had started at least in 2015, is going on (Figure
2). The overall increase of instant messaging applications is enormous! Although we separated the selection
“SnapChat” from the selection “Instant messaging” for this year´s survey (2016) we can record a very high growth
of the selection “Instant messaging” too. The result for “Instant messaging” of 2015 gained 31% with “SnapChat”
included. The result for “Instant messaging” of 2016 hits 48% but without “SnapChat”, which reaches 44% itself.
Together, “Instant messaging” and “SnapChat” have 92% in 2016, which would be a tripling of last year´s (2015)
value and nearly equals the value of the selection “WhatsApp” (94%) in 2016. We assume, that this high increase of
“Instant messaging” in 2016 has been caused by a misunderstanding of the wording “instant messaging. We
believe, that either most of the 48% of “Instant messaging” in 2016 results from users that double checked
“SnapChat” once for the selection “SnapChat” itself and once for the selection “Instant messaging” may has caused
this, or the fact, that the application “Instagram” has not been set as an own selection yet and therefore may be
included within the selection “Instant messaging”; although Instagram is no instant messaging tool per se. When we
take a look at figure 7 and figure 8 we apparently see differences between “SnapChat” and “Instant messaging”
which underlines the second assumption regarding “Instagram”. Also the German JIM study 2016 (Feierabend et al,
2016) states that nearly 50% of young people aged 18 and 19 use Instagram at least weekly, which would fit our
results quite well. We will differentiate these selections more precisely in future. Nevertheless, easy to use instant
messaging tools with a high social networking and media usage impact have revolutionized communication
behavior not only at the expense of SMS”.
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Figure 2: Comparison of communication behaviour of first year’s students at TU Graz between 2007 and 2016
Values similar to answers given for “often” plus “daily use; Selection “SnapChat” was added in 2016
Thus the differences between “WhatsApp” and other communication ways turned evident. “WhatsApp” has become
the most used application ever! 93% of all students polled this year (2016) use “WhatsApp” at least often. Only 50%
still use “SMS” at least “often”. “SnapChat” (44%) tends to outstrip “SMS” very soon. The slight loss of
“Facebook” can be indicated as an trend, because recent online surveys among teenagers in Austria (aged 11 to 17)
display devastating results especially for the usage of Facebook1, although Facebook is most used by the mid-
twenties. Furthermore, “Sykpe” went down to 20% whereas “Internet Video Call” still is on its way up (16%).
Although all other selections remained rather silent compared to last year´s survey (2015) the quite constant
percentage of “E-Mailaround 80% is remarkable.
Which Trends Can be Seen Towards the Usage of IT at Secondary School Level?
Since 2009 we have asked the students about their IT usage at secondary school level. The results give us an insight
into the IT-skill our upcoming students bring along (compare figure 3 and figure 4). We can state that there are only
little changes from an overall point of view; a very low but constant overall increase as well as for the usage of
Moodle or other platforms, office software in the lead, followed by generally learning with the help of computers.
Nevertheless, the highest increase can be seen for a “rarely” usage of IT at secondary school level. Quite similar
results we got from the focus on learning resources, which we had asked for since 2014 (compare figure 5 and 6).
Students had to indicate how intensively they either use traditional printed schoolbooks or other learning materials.
On a second scale they had to distinguish the type of media of this other material, whether it is an analogous or a
digital one. Again, we detect only little changes over the last three years. The main resource at secondary school
level remains the printed schoolbook. Other learning materials are more likely analogous media. We cannot state a
clear trend towards any of the ask selections so far. This fits with the results of the general IT-usage at secondary
school level.
1 https://www.saferinternet.at/jugendinternetmonitor (last access 2016-04-21)
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Figure 3 left: Comparison of usage of e-learning platforms and PC in general at secondary school level of first
year’s students at TU Graz 2016
Figure 4 right: Overall comparison of usage of e-learning platforms at secondary school level of first year’s
students at TU Graz between 2009 and 2016
Figure 5 left: Comparison of usage of analog schoolbooks and other learning materials of first year’s students at TU
Graz 2016
Figure 6 right: Comparison of usage of analog and digital learning materials besides schoolbooks of first year’s
students at TU Graz 2016
Which Trends Can Be Seen According Web 2.0 Activities in Regards to General Usage and for Learning?
Figures 7, 8, and 9 display the results according the general usage of Web 2.0 as well as the one for learning
intentions. Figure 7 shows the overall results covering the qualities “rarely”, “often”, and “daily”, figure 8 the ones
for “never”, “unknown”, or skipped answers. Note, that both types of usage (general and learning) or shown together
in the figures 7 and 8. Students had to rate their usage for both types separately. For these reasons the total values
may exceed 100% and could reach 200% at a max.
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Figure 7: Usage of Web 2.0 and Internet offers of first year’s students at TU Graz in 2016, part 1
Usage qualities “rarely”, “often”, and “daily”
This year´s results (2016) confirm the trends of 2015´s survey. “WhatsApp” clearly leads the “daily” general use as
well as the one for learning usage. Only “Wikipedia” sticks with “WhatsApp” according to “daily” learning use.
Whereas the “often” usage (general and learning) is highest for “Text-editing competences and “Wikipedia”
followed by “YouTube” and “E-Mail” as well as “WhatsApp” (but only for learning purpose). “Facebook” does not
play a major role according to learning usage; it is similar to “SMS”. “SnapChat” is only used for general reasons
but not for learning which is a rather surprising result. The relative high usage of “SnapChat” (44%) (compare figure
2) would have suggested a more extensive usage for learning efforts as well. Quite the contrary, “SnapChat” is one
of the least used applications for learning efforts. 80% never use “SnapChat” for learning purposes. Only “Twitter”
(88%) is even less used than “SnapChat” for learning. “Gaming”, “Google+”, and “iCloud” are nearly the same
compared to “SnapChat”. Therefore, from the point of learning efforts “SnapChat” can be neglected so far. Students
consciously differentiate the purpose of the applications they use! From an overall point of view, only a couple of
applications dominate students’ behavior regarding Web 2.0. These are “Wikipedia”, “YouTube”, “Text”-editing
programs, “E-Mail”, and “WhatsApp”. Furthermore “Table”-editing programs, “SMS”, “Facebook”, “Dropbox”,
and “other online dictionary” are used quite strongly. Whereby the usage of “Text”- and “Table”-editing programs
can be most likely attributed to the usage at secondary school. The usage of cloud applications remains low except
“Dropbox”, but the usage of “Dropbox” has declined whereas the ones for “Google Drive”, “OneDrive”, and “Other
cloud applications” did rise again. (compare figure 9).
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Figure 8: No Usage of Web 2.0 and Internet offers of first year’s students at TU Graz in 2016, part 2
Usage qualities never”, “unknown, and skipped answers
Figure 9: Comparison of “often plus daily learn” use of Web 2.0 and Internet applications from 2011 to 2016;
*: Selections that are new since 2014; **: Selections that are new since 2016
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Figure 9 gives us a first idea about the topic of this year´s (2016) paper on the survey. It displays the differences in
the “daily” plus “often” usage for learning purposes that occur between the year 2016 compared to the years before
till 2011. Bars that go up show a gain, those that go down a loss compared to 2016 and the corresponding year. In
this way, we can easily see the “losers and winners” in a detailed progress over the last 5 years. Because “SnapChat”
is new the survey in this year (2016), the difference to all former years is the same. It is obvious that the highest loss
overall can be stated for “SMS”. Since 2014 the “often” and “daily” use for learning has constantly gone done each
year. According to “Facebook” we see nearly the same; “Facebook” has its lowest usage for learning effort in 2016
after a peak in 2014, then “WhatsApp” took over. Also “Skype” must be counted to the “victims” of “WhatsApp”
even for learning efforts. Besides “WhatsApp” there is a steady increase to be noticed for “YouTube”, “Instant
messaging”, “Other online dictionary”, and “Google Drive”. Overall, the usage for “daily” and “often” learning has
increased by noteworthy 168% since 2011; even compared to last year (2015) there was a rise of 17%!
A PCA (Principle Component Analysis) and HCA (Hierarchical Cluster Analysis) analyses of this year´s survey
(2016) found out, that there is a clear cluster around “gaming online”; the typical user of this cluster is male and uses
Twitter, WhatsApp, and newsgroups in general. A regression analysis discovered that this male “gamer type” also
likes to play Pokemon GO (R = 0,396). Apart from this outcome, the special topics of this year (2016), “Pokemon
GO” and “Bitcoins”, are rather unspectacular. A third of the polled students plays Pokemon GO at the time of the
survey or has played it before. Bitcoins are owned by less than 5%. Nevertheless, this equals the number of those
who have a smart watch (compare figure 1).
Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven
We claim that freshmen of TU Graz did radically change over the last ten years according to the topics of our long-
term survey. Their workstations became laptops or pads, theirs phones turned smart, and using SMS had been
replaced by using social media and social networks. The number of equipment per person as well as the intensity of
communication has been constantly rising. When we compare the results in steps of five years (2007, 2011, and
2016) we get a better overview about the changes (compare figures 10, 11, and 12). Due to the fact that a couple of
internet based applications and devices simply did not exist in 2007 (or even 2011), the selections of the survey have
been adapted, added, or dropped again over the years a lot. Furthermore, even though applications and devices may
have existed in the early years of the survey, they may have not been focused for some reason and therefore are
missing in those years. Between 2007 and 2009 we adjusted and extended the survey extensively. We introduced a
number of new selections and differentiations to the given ones but we tried to keep those established as much as
possible to ensure comparability over the years. If comparability was not given, we left the values out for this
analysis.
Figure 10 powerfully shows us the progression of device ownership over the last ten years. The most evident change
has taken place in regards to mobile phones. Although the number of smartphones was twice the one for mobile
phones without touchscreen (selection “Mobile classic”) already in 2011, it nearly exploded in the last 5 years.
Classic mobile phones do not have any importance in 2016. The number of iPhones clearly doubled and the one for
devices running with Android nearly did so. Since 2011 “PC” has been on its way down as well as “iPod”. Even
more, in this year (2016) “Laptops and Netbooks” overtook “PC” for the first time as well as the ownership of
mobile devices tops the one for workstations in total and is still increasing. Also smaller devices such as pads and
convertibles tend to displace traditional workstations (selections “PC”, “MAC”, “Linux”). Although e-readers are
not expensive at all and had become popular at least since Amazon Kindle in 2007, the market for such devices has
not achieved a breakthrough yet. According to this year´s (2016) new selections “Activity tracker”, “smart watch”,
“Smart glass”, and “Other wearables” we take a glance at Gartner´s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologiesof the
years 2013 to 20162. Its first appearance on the hype cycle was in 2013. From 2013 to 2015 “Wearableswere on its
“peak of inflated expectations”. Research work on smart glasses done by ET (Ebner et al, 2016) attest a critical report
too. Internet TV (selection “IPTV”) was announced in 2009 for the first time by Gartner. It quickly went through its
“peak of inflated expectations” in 2011 in order to get absorbed by the term “Internet of Things” in 2013. We are
convinced, that Internet TV will be booming in the near future. “Internet of Things” first appeared in Gartner´s 2011
report with a mainstream adoption rate of 10 years at maximum. One year later, in 2012, the rate was set to “more
than 10 years” and then, in 2014, at its “peak” back again to 10 years. However, this issue seems hard to predict. To
2 http://www.computerwoche.de/a/gartner-trends-im-reality-check,3070089 (last access 2017-04-28 )
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
put it straight, freshmen of TU Graz have more mobile digital devices than ten years ago. They own smart devices
more likely than others and focus on mobile ones. But they do not tag along with all hypes or technologies.
Figure 10: Comparison of ownership of devices for the years 2007, 2011, and 2016
But, does this change of devices also can be seen in a change of habits according to communication? Figure 11
answers this question. Again, it is obvious that also their communication tools have changed a lot. A change of tools
led to a change of social behaviour too. Whereas “E-Mail” and “SMS” as well as “Facebook”, and “Skype” have
been used more or less powerfully in 2011, the situation in 2016 shows a different spread. Easy to use instant
messaging tools with a high social networking and media usage impact have cut “SMS” and “Skype” in half. 93% of
the students polled this year (2016) use “WhatsApp” routinely (9,5% “often” and 84,5% “daily”). Thus “WhatsApp”
has become the most used application ever! The reasons for this triumph have been discussed in last year´s survey
(Nagler et al, 2015). Even Facebook has turned out to be too clumsy for the needs of the youth. Its commercials
driven intentions seem to scare away its users. “SnapChat” and other “Instant messaging” applications, which we
assume, mainly equates with “Instagram”, profit from that change of behavior as well. The rather high value for
“Instant messaging” in 2007 refers to the applications of that time, which most likely had been ICQ. Also the time
for “Skype” seems to come to an end and is slowly taken over from other “Internet Video Call” applications or
“Instant messaging” tools. Figure 2 displays this step-by-step replacement even better. To break it down,
communication has massively turned to a social and multimedia process.
Furthermore, according to the general usage of Web 2.0 tools and the one for learning intentions, we can state
significant changes towards applications that offer a high social and collaborative character. The rise of cloud
applications within the last five years is not to be neglected. Although “Dropbox” lost influence the third
consecutive year, it is still the most preferred one, followed by “Google Drive”, “iCloud”, and “OneDrive” (compare
figure 9 and 11). Another interesting fact is that “Wikipedia” by now is more used for learning efforts than for
general intentions (compare figure 11 and 12) than in 2007 or 2011. The general usage decreased for the benefit of
“Other online dictionary” as well as comparable alternatives coming along with social networks. The usage for
learning efforts nearly has stayed the same since 2011. This change of habits can be seen even more plainly when
the selection “Other online dictionary” is focused. Finally, when we pick YouTube” as another example, we can
state a steady increase that tops in a very high usage for general efforts. It is as much used as “WhatsApp” and even
more than “Wikipedia” had ever been used. This is outstanding and reveals a clear trend to multimedia which even
effects the way of learning habits profoundly. The value for “YouTube” for learning purposes doubled within the
last five years! In times of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), videos obviously have become one of the most
important sources of information for learning.
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Figure 11: Comparison of “often and daily” general use of Web 2.0 offers for the years 2007, 2011, and 2016
Figure 12: Comparison of “often and daily” learning use of Web 2.0 offers for the years 2007, 2011, and 2016
Conclusion
Ten years of a survey among freshmen entering TU Graz can be taken exemplary for a change of habits towards the
way we deal with modern technologies. Learning has been constantly enriched by the help of IT in general and
Internet in special. By now, every student owns mobile devices that offer a permanent connectivity to the Internet.
The importance of the Internet for learning efforts has evidently increased although the usage of web-based offers
for education in classroom at secondary school level has not. In class “old fashioned” IT skills and tools are still in
favor. Furthermore, the tools and applications for communication have turned more social and multimedia. This
trend is reflected by the tremendous boost of YouTube usage for learning efforts as well as the rise of cloud
applications. Instant messaging services have grown up to multimedia social networks beginning to replace the
Originally published in: Nagler, W., Ebner, M. & Schön, M. (2017). Mobile, Social, Smart, and Media Driven The Way
Academic Net-Generation Has Changed Within Ten Years. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on
Educational Media and Technology 2017 (pp. 826-835). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
established ones. In 2007 we asked, whether the net-generation has arrived at TU Graz or not. After ten years we
firmly can argue: they have. They will enter a university that has changed too in the meantime, that has become fit
for the challenges of modern youth, not least because of this long-term survey providing a fundamental basis of facts
to the university´s rectorate.
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... For 14 years, i.e. for the first time in 2007, surveys have been conducted annually among TU Graz firstyear students. The team of Educational Technology at TU Graz has been reporting on the findings regularly since 2009 and have investigated questions that are important and interesting for the university itself as well as the worldwide edTech-community (Nagler & Ebner, 2009;Ebner & Nagler, 2010;Ebner et al., 2011;Ebner et al., 2012;Ebner et al., 2013;Ebner et al., 2014;Nagler et al., 2015;Nagler et al., 2016;Nagler et al., 2017;Nagler et al., 2018;Nagler et al., 2019). Due to the fact that the 2019 survey results have not yet been published, this report focuses on both the data from 2020 and 2019. ...
... The fact that Whatsapp, i.e. a provider-bound communication application is far more widespread (2020 about 11.1 percentage points difference) is still an important insight into how difficult it is to reach and communicate with students reliably. The dramatic drop in scores for "Other Instant Messaging" from nearly 50% in 2016 to 5% in 2017 is discussed in our 2017 publication (Nagler, Ebner, Schön, 2017) and is due to an adjustment to the questionnaire in this category. ...
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The technical equipment of first-year students and their preferred communication applications are changing. This paper presents the two latest, unpublished surveys of first-year students at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) from 2019 (N=824) and 2020 (N=955) and compares the results concerning devices and applications with the results of the surveys conducted since 2011. The analysis shows that laptops, desktop computers and smartphones are among the most important and widespread multifunctional devices, while the MP3 player in particular or the social media application Facebook have lost most of their former importance. The increasing importance of photo-based social media applications, first and foremost Instagram, is striking. If comparing the data from 2019 to those from 2020, the first academic year start that took place within the COVID-19 pandemic, the same applies to the use of Facebook and Facebook Messenger, which now only have the same minor significance as Telegram, Signal, Skype, or others. Concerning effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the equipment and communication tools used, the authors see a major impact on the prevalence of portable powerpacks.
... Our students ought to be prepared for a world where digital tools are part of their daily routine (mpfs, 2017) and face-to-face education is just one of the many options. Taking a closer look at the students of today we find their behavior has changed dramatically because they are dealing with a larger variety of devices in comparison to a couple of years ago (Nagler et al, 2017) (Nagler et al, 2018). They are using many different channels for communication -like WhatsApp, Snapchat, E-Mail, etc., and are used to accessing information systems and web Draft -originally published in: Ebner, M., Hell, T., & Ebner, M. (2019). ...
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In this research work, we deal with the topic of the integration of Technology Enhanced Learning in Higher Education. Due to the worldwide debate on digitalization in all possible sectors, educational institutions are asking how they can deal with this change and how they can prepare for the future. At Graz University of Technology, a pre-project was started to define a policy, which should help to encourage the start of new projects with a special focus to education. A participatory approach was utilized with the idea that each university member (lecturers, researchers, administrators or students) could provide input. Different measurements across the fields of education, research, administration, and transformation were carried out, summarized and consolidated to provide a final policy. The outcome of this publication will focus on the description of the whole process as well as the summary of the most interesting aspects, which were used for the final policy. Furthermore, an outlook on how the digital policy will be implemented in the following years will be provided.
... Today's students are used to being surrounded by numerous technologies and have access to the internet any time anywhere (Nagler et al, 2017). While it is obvious that the world is in a process of adoption, the question must be posed against this background of whether current teaching and studying methods are still effective enough. ...
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Mobile apps and the gaming industry experienced continuous growth and popularity over the last couple of years. While children have always played games for fun, researchers, recognized the promising possibilities behind games in the field of education. As nearly every child is in possession of a mobile device today, the sector of digital game-based learning is of special interest. Since primary school pupils often find it difficult to acquire good language skills, this research study deals with the creation of a prototype for tablets to support language training within primary schools. For the evaluation, a field test among children in Austria was conducted in order to see whether benefits could be observed. The extremely positive field test strengthened our approach and further motivated the participants to play the game even after the test was finished.
... Zahlreiche Abhandlungen wurden auch darüber verfasst, dass sich die Studierenden von heute zwar deutlich in der Ausstattung zu früheren Generationen unterscheiden, aber nur wenige Unterschiede im Umgang bestehen. Sie bleiben ohne Anleitung einfach passive Nutzer/innen des Internets ( Ebner et al., 2011) ( Ebner et al., 2012) ( Nagler et al., 2017). Mit dem Aufkommen der Smartphones wurde die Welt zunehmend mobiler und Webinhalte ubiquitär verfügbar. ...
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Durch die Erfindung des Computers hat sich das Leben in verschiedenen Bereichen stark verändert: Mobilität und Vernetzung halten Einzug in das tägliche Leben. Um am Puls der Zeit zu bleiben, ist es notwendig auch das bis jetzt nahezu unveränderte Bildungssystem in die Zukunft zu tragen. Ob der zahlreichen politischen Diskussionen konnte man sich bis heute nicht flächendeckend darauf einigen, Informatik als eines der grundlegenden Fächer im Schulbetrieb zu verankern. Ziel der Bildungsinformatik ist es ein Bewusstsein für die notwendigen Kompetenzen der informatischen und medialen Belange der Gesellschaft der Zukunft zu schaffen. Am Beispiel eines Learning-Management-Systems sollen die damit einhergehenden technischen und nicht-technischen Herausforderungen beleuchtet werden um damit auch die Notwendigkeit und Bedeutung der Bildungsinformatik zu verdeutlichen.
... Kinder und Jugendliche verfügen über eine fast flächendeckene Ausstattung mit Internet und zumindest Smartphones (vgl. Feierabend et al. 2016;Nagler et al. 2017). Schnell stellt sich die Frage, wie die Gesellschaft mit diesem Wandel zurechtkommen soll -Bildung spielt hier natürlich eine wesentliche Rolle. ...
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Based on an explorative interview study, this chapter reports on students' usage behavior concerning formal and informal information sources for academic (learning) purposes. In this regard, a variety of information sources was reported, ranging from scholarly materials to applications based on user-generated content like Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, forums, and question-and-answer sites. The findings showed that students' acceptance of information sources varied with an increase in the academic age: the more experienced students were, the more focused their choice of information sources was. Bachelor students utilized diverse sources, while doctoral and PhD students mainly concentrated on scholarly materials and news articles, but used Wikipedia, YouTube, and blogs as well. Regarding such informal sources, bachelor students mainly consulted these for learning purposes, while doctoral/PhD students primarily utilized them for checking up/acquiring information and their preparation work. The results are preliminary in their nature and are to be validated in further research.
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Der Einsatz von digitalen Technologien im Alltag der Jugend ist selbstverständlich geworden. Die Schülerinnen und Schüler haben die Möglichkeit mit Hilfe von Geräten wie Computern, Tablets und Smartphones Zugang zu Informationen, Kursmaterialien und Übungen zu erhalten. Die dadurch gewonnenen Daten haben das Potential die Art und Weise wie wir Lehren und Lernen tiefgreifend zu verändern. In diesem Beitrag sollen die Möglichkeiten und die Entwicklung von Learning Analytics im Bildungswesen näher betrachtet und die Rolle der Lehrenden und Lernenden beleuchtet werden. Es wird ein Ausschnitt von am Markt befindlichen Werkzeugen geboten und anhand von ausgewählten Beispielen und Fallstudien der Mehrwert des Einsatzes aufgezeigt und diskutiert. Abschließend werden Datenschutzfragen und Potenziale für die Zukunft besprochen.
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Graz University of Technology has a long tradition in doing technology-enhanced courses. Following the latest trends, as mentioned in the NMC Horizon Report [32], we reviewed the possibility to use a wearable technology, in our case the Google GlassTM, in courses to improve the interaction between the lecturer and the audience with a special focus on huge classes. The lack of interaction in traditional face-to-face lectures is a well-known problem with a long research history [4], [12]. New technologies in Audience Response Systems (ARS) offer new ways to improve the interaction between teacher and student by enabling to ask questions to the audience [5] to get instant feedback during a lecture. Currently many types of web-based ARSs are available on the market [15]. Our research focused on finding an ARS suitable for the visualization in the Google Glass display. Further we developed a prototype and described first practical experiences.
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Since 2007 Graz University of Technology has undertaken questionnaires on its first- year students. The main goal of that annual survey basically concentrates on the IT- and Web- competences as long as they are related to e-learning. The long-term results display progresses and trends that need to be taken into account for a university ́s e-learning strategy. The results of this year mainly state a tremendous triumph of the application WhatsApp. It ́s influence on the usage of other applications and it ́s relation to Facebook is specially focused. There is no evidence that using WhatsApp has a negative effect on Facebook. Quite the contrary; WhatsApp is another big push on the steady growing usage of modern media for learning purposes.
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In summer 2013 the discussion about security and Internet peaked when the ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden uncovered secret details about his former employer NSA. Since then bad news and stories about government surveillance have come along daily worldwide. But did they change anything according to our way of working and living with the Internet? We wanted to know, whether there is a change of Internet behavior to be determined among freshmen coming to Graz University of Technology. On base of an annual questionnaire that is carried out by the Department of Social Learning at TU Graz since 2007 we found out that although a quarter of polled students are influenced by those disclosures there is no decrease in Internet usage to be realized compared to former years results; quite the reverse: applications working on cloud-principle like Dropbox are strongly upcoming. Apart from that, the long term survey generally mirrors new media competences and Internet usage of TU Graz freshmen. This paper discusses this year´s results and progressions of the survey.
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This study investigated the extent and nature of university students’ use of digital technologies for learning and socialising. The findings show that students use a limited range of mainly established technologies. Use of collaborative knowledge creation tools, virtual worlds, and social networking sites was low. ‘Digital natives’ and students of a technical discipline (Engineering) used more technology tools when compared to ‘digital immigrants’ and students of a non-technical discipline (Social Work). This relationship may be mediated by the finding that Engineering courses required more intensive and extensive access to technology than Social Work courses. However, the use of technology between these groups is only quantitatively rather than qualitatively different. The study did not find evidence to support popular claims that young people adopt radically different learning styles. Their attitudes to learning appear to be influenced by lecturers’ teaching approaches. Students appear to conform to traditional pedagogies, albeit with minor uses of tools delivering content. The outcomes suggest that although the calls for transformations in education may be legitimate it would be misleading to ground the arguments for such change in students’ shifting patterns of learning and technology use.
The digital learner at BCIT and implications for an e-strategy
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Bullen, M., Morgan, T., Belfer, K. & Oayyum, A (2008). The digital learner at BCIT and implications for an e-strategy. EDEN, Paris, France.
LXP:Student experiences of technologies
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Conole, G.; de Laat, M., Dillon, T. & Darby, J. (2006). LXP:Student experiences of technologies. Final Report: JISC UK, http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearningpedagogy/learneroutcomes (last visited: April 2016)
Architecture Students Hate Twitter and Love Dropbox" or Does the Field of Study Correlates with Web 2.0 Behavior
  • M Ebner
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Ebner, M., Nagler, W. & Schön, M. (2013). Architecture Students Hate Twitter and Love Dropbox" or Does the Field of Study Correlates with Web 2.0 Behavior?. In: World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2013, pp. 43-53. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.