|Air, food, water and Internet?|
|Written by Douglas Bridges-O’Connor, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Thursday, 29 September 2011 20:29|
A study by Cisco Systems, Inc. show that students value Internet as much as basic human needs
According to the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, one in three college students believes the Internet is a fundamental resource for their lives, in some cases more important than having a car, dating and partying.
“It’s unbelievable how important the Internet actually is to students. It’s to the point where it’s completely distracting, but they just can’t help themselves,” Jennifer Woodruff, instructor of sociology, said.
“The longest I’ve gone without the Internet was about two or three days. I felt out of the loop, out of contact with the world. I like to check my iCampus every day to kind of see what’s going on in the news. It’s hard for me to go without the Internet,” Megan Stocker, freshman biological sciences major, said.
Many of the study’s 3,000 respondents stated their mobile device is the most important technology in their lives, most of which have Internet capabilities.
“Some students can’t sit through a 50-minute class without checking their Facebook. It’s something we talk about in my class at the very beginning of the semester. What would happen if the power went out and you couldn’t get on your Facebook? Or your cell phone didn’t work? There’s often just this moment of panic. We feel helpless because we’re so used to having those things. We’re so used to that constant interaction,” she added.
The study also found that four out of five students are interrupted while doing projects or homework by Facebook updates, texts and phone calls at least once an hour.
“I’m always on the Internet. Probably like four to six hours a day because if I’m doing homework, I’m on the Internet also. I have it up because it’s always there, it’s just something in the background,” Andrea Swick, freshman German major, said.
According to Woodruff, the quality of homework assignments is being affected by students’ Internet use.
“I see a lot of those habits bleeding over into their overall performance. Reliance on spellcheck and Internet sources like Wikipedia is leading them to turn in assignments that are, you know, garbage,” she said.
“This generation is so caught up in the ability to do things faster and faster, then move on to the next thing … the next conversation, the next Facebook post, the next text. It’s almost like they can’t bear to not have some type of constant communication. It becomes almost like an obsession,” Woodruff said.
In Woodruff’s opinion, increasing Internet use within the classroom may lead to benefits for students as well as instructors.
“I do think there is an advantage to bringing these types of media into the classroom to keep up with the times. It’s important for instructors to keep current for their students because we have to be able to really speak to them and be conscious of the society they live in today,” Woodruff said.