Related Literature in Technology and Lifesyles
This study examined the effects of computer use and other technologies, such as instant messaging, handheld gaming devices, and MPH players, and the impact they have on students’ peer relationships, academic involvement, and lately lifestyles. Results show both positive and negative effects on all three constructs of psychosocial development, including differences based on gender and race. Student engagement on campuses is different than it was a decade ago. According to Arena (2004), engagement is simply defined as “the time and effort spent on activities” (p.
0). Students still concentrate on Jan M. Lloyd is the director of student life at the University of South Florida in Alkaline in Orlando, FL. Laura A. Dean is assistant professor of counseling & human development services at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. Diane L. Cooper is a professor of counseling & human development services at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.
481 Unsparingly, 2007, Volvo. 44, no. 3 academics, participate in student organizations, and communicate with faculty and friends.
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However, with the introduction of technology, the ways that students communicate, interact, and engage in activities have changed. With online degrees, smart boards, whiteboards, chat tools, Internet video conferencing, digitized movies, and electronic libraries (Lenient, Madden, & Within, 2005), college students have more access to and use of technology than any other generation. Technology has now moved into everyday use with the introduction of things such as Backbone in 2004 (Kim, 2005) and pods to listen to music and watch videos. Increasingly, students own, rather than just use, a variety of technological devices.
A report by Kava and Caruso (2005) found that 62% of students own a desktop computer, while 55% own a laptop, 90% own a cellular phone, and 38% own a music device. Although some research has shown the impact computer and electronic mail use has on student learning, little research has been conducted to explore the impact of various types of technology use, including instant messaging, blobs, Pod, and Backbone on student development. In addition, little has been done to explore the differences between students based on gender and ethnicity.With the increase in technology use by students, higher education institutions are investing money into new technologies for college students in order to meet the needs and expectations of this technologically generation. Duke University gave pods to all incoming freshmen in 2004 as an experiment in education, student life, and technology (Carlson, 2004). Winnow State University gave laptops to their incoming students for 6 years and are now giving them tablet personal computers. University of Maryland in College Park gave away free Blackberry’s (Carlson, 2004).
The Campus Computing Project (Campus Computing, Retrieved April 3, 2005 from http:// www. Communicating. Net) found that 64% of higher education institutions surveyed have strategic plans for wireless networks (Wife) and that almost 29% of those institutions already have campus-wide Wife systems running. Research has shown that students are comfortable with and use electronic mail and the Internet for both academic and social reasons (Arena, 2005; SKU & Huh, 2001). Kvass and Caruso (2005) found that students primarily use computers for electronic mail (99. ). 482 They also use computers for writing documents for coursework (98.
9%), surfing the Internet to support their coursework (98. 4%), and surfing the Internet for pleasure (94. 8%). In addition, 81 % of students use instant messaging, while 75% listen to music and 61% play computer games. On average, students in the 2005 study reported that they spend 11 to 15 hours a week using technology. Despite the increase in all types of technology, little is known about how these technologies impact student development (Lewis, Courses, & Khan, 2001 ).A perception by colleges is that technology will have a positive impact on student learning.
Academically, computers allow students to communicate with faculty more often (Arena, 2005), which can improve student-faculty relationships. Students claim to have a better understanding of course material through the use of technology in the classroom (Arena, 2005). Some research studies, however, have conflicting results. SKU and Vesper (2001 ) examined the relationship between students’ use of computers and students’ cognitive and intellectual development gains reported on the College Student Experiences Questionnaire.These 23 developmental gains include student reported gains such as writing clearly, ability to learn on own, understanding other people, and understanding science as some examples. Students who used computers more often outscored students with low use on every developmental gain. Students also scored significantly higher on learning how to function as a team member.
The authors surmise that computers may make it easier for students to communicate with one another and therefore does not hinder students’ social skills.However, a study by Flower, Appeasable, and Pierson (2000) examined the extent of computer and electronic mail use related to students’ cognitive and intellectual development. They found that computer and electronic mail use had little impact on composite cognitive development, reading comprehension, mathematics, and critical thinking. Finally, a study by SKU and Huh (2001) explored computer and information technology (C&IT) use and learning and development outcomes for students. They found no difference in technology use between ethnic groups. Men used C&IT more often than women. First- year students used C&IT less frequently than seniors.
Regarding developmental outcomes, students reported that using electronic mail 483 Unsparingly, 2007, Volvo. 44, no. 3 increased their personal development in regards to their ability to get along tit others and understand themselves and increased their intellectual development in regards to their ability to write effectively and synthesize ideas. The use of electronic mail did not increase their general education regarding their ability to understand history and their knowledge about the world. These studies only address computer and electronic mail use and not an extensive use of other technology compared to student development outcomes.More research needs to be done to address students’ academic, emotional, and physical well-being related to technology use (Lewis, Courses, & Khan, 2001). In spite of some benefits associated with computer and electronic mail use, there are several concerns that need to be considered.
Truer and Beloit (1997) discuss the concept of “cocooning” where students may retreat to their computers and isolate themselves from campus activities. Another concern addresses the impact of face-to-face communication versus virtual communication.Although teenagers in Lenient, Madden, and Hatpin’s study (2005) reported they preferred instant messaging to phone or electronic mail, most college students state that electronic mail would not put an end to face-to-face communication (Arena, 2005; Scorcher, 997). Another concern is access to technology. Not all students have access or skill for technology, and this could impact students’ learning. In a review of literature, Tango (2003) suggested that Latino/a students’ academic success is linked to face-to-face interactions with faculty and staff and that an increase in technology will decrease this type of interaction.No empirical evidence addressed how technology impacts students of different ethnicities.
A final point addressed in the literature concerns the addictive behavior of Internet use. Scorcher (1997) investigated college students’ Internet use and the extent Of Internet dependency. Ten clinical symptoms Of Internet dependency were developed by the author. Students who reported three or more of these symptoms were categorized as Internet dependent users. Students, in her study, used the Internet to maintain relationships, for academic use, and to meet new people.Males used the Internet more on a weekly basis than females, which supports the research by SKU and Huh (2001 NSAP Journal, 2007, Volvo. 44, no.
3 Independent users focused more on academic use than dependent users (92% vs.. 88%). Dependent users played more games, used chat lines more, ND utilized the Internet more to experiment socially, to seek sexual material, and to seek illegal material than independent users. In addition, the results showed a concern for students’ interpersonal development since independent users sign efficiently utilize face-to-face communication more than dependent users.This brief literature review provides a foundation in understanding how technology, specifically computer use, impacts student learning. Little to no empirical research has been conducted to explore the impact various technologies have on student development components.
Student development components include psychosocial development as well as cognitive and moral development. Checkering and Reissue (1993) provide a psychosocial development model through which college students progress in developing an identity. One of the key components includes developing interpersonal relationships with peers.Technology provides an opportunity for students to stay constantly connected with one another, but how that technology impacts their peer relationships has not been fully examined. Another component of the Checkering and Reissue model is establishing identity, which includes having a healthy lifestyle. Good health and wellness practices are important for students to succeed in college and life. Technology could interfere with these practices if students have dependent behaviors.
A further aspect to consider is the extent to which technology impacts students’ educational involvement.Arena (2005) found that students use the Internet to interact with faculty, find campus resources, and access academic content. However, there is little in the current literature related to how technology impacts students’ academic progression through well- defined educational goals. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect that varying types of technology have on several aspects of psychosocial development. Extent of use was used as a factor in this research, as were race, gender, and other demographic variables. 85 Method A two-part Student Technology Use Survey was developed by the researchers and distributed to a convenience sample of undergraduate students enrolled in several courses offered by the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at a large research institution in the Southeast. The first part of the survey asked students to respond regarding the number of ours they used 1 4 various technologies, including computers, video gaming devices, MPH players, TV’s, DVD players, personal digital assistants (PDA), and cellular phones and the specific purpose (I.
. , academic work, entertainment, meet new people, communicate with faculty, communicate with friends, relaxing). The purposes were related to each of the 14 different technologies. The survey was initially reviewed by six student affairs professionals who are well-versed in college student developmental issues, technology types, and uses. In addition, the survey was disseminated to 10 undergraduate students for their review. Changes suggested by these professionals and the students were incorporated into the final version that was distributed in the spring of 2006.The second part Of the Survey included three subtasks of the Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Assessment (SADLY; Winston, Miller, & Cooper, 1999).
The authors defined these as: Peer Relationships?Having accomplished this subtask, students describe their relationships with peers as shifting toward greater trust, independence, frankness, and individuality; and as feeling less need to conform to the standards of friends or to conceal shortcomings or disagreements.Educational Involvement?students who have accomplished this subtask have well-defined educational goals and plans, are knowledgeable about available resources, and are actively involved in the academic life of the college/university. Salubrious Lifestyle?This scale measures the degree to which a student’s lifestyle is consistent with or promotes good health and wellness practices. 486 These particular constructs were selected for inclusion after reviewing the literature cited above concerning possible developmental impact of technology use on traditional age college students.The SADLY has been hon. in previous studies to be both reliable and valid for measuring these three constructs (Wash & Cooper, 2002). In addition, reliability tests with these three subtasks have been shown to be .
65. 71 for Peer Relationships, . 79-. 82 for Educational Involvement, and . 71–77 for Salubrious Lifestyle (Winston, Miller, & Cooper, 1999). The Student Technology Use Survey was distributed to 475 undergraduates. A total of 385 valid instruments were then used in the data analysis, resulting in an 81% return rate.
Students were not required to complete the survey, but class time was given for students who wanted to stay to complete it. The final sample included 1 53 men (38. 4%) and 226 women (56. 8%), with 6 (4. 8%) not reporting and so removed from further analysis on this variable. Demographics on gender in this study were representative of the campus population. The respondents included 315 (81.
8%) White, 33 (8. 6%) African American, 24 (6. 2%) Asian, 7 (118%) Hispanic, 2 (. 5%) Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and 2 (. 5%) multiracial students, with 2 (. 5%) not responding.