Digital natives have cause to feel optimistic about the future of higher education. "According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, about 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online education class during the fall 2009 semester," a July 21, 2011 U.S. News and World Report article reports. "This marked a 21% increase from the previous year, while higher education as a whole grew by 2% during this time."
Today's university students are fit candidates for distance learning -- or so suggests a recently conducted survey by the Pew Research Center. From this survey emerges clear evidence of the high degree og technological know-how enjoyed by modern college students, some 98 percent of whom use the Internet (at the graduate student level this number increases to 99 percent), compared to the 75 percent of all American adults surf the Web.
Social media emerge as sites of choice among modern college students, LinkedIn and Facebook being two most popular social-media sites. Again, college students far exceed American adults in general in their use of these sites. Whereas 60 percent of latter use social media, nearly 86 percent of college students confess to being inveterate Facebookers. Graduate students, however had a slightly lower incidence of social-media usage, their number hovering around 82 percent.
The survey offers a real insight into the nature and character of today's postsecondary learner. Whether they study organizational management or nursing, modern students are likely to have an array of devices at their disposal -- cellphones, laptop computers, e-readers, tablet PCs, among others.
If all this technology can point the way to greater degrees of academic success, then the future looks bright, indeed.