Students Crack Open Less Books, Browse the Net More

macbookStudents, and people in general, for that matter, now spend more time watching and interacting with media each day than they do sleeping, working, or studying. Bruce Friend, president of Ipsos OTX Media CT, reports that more has changed in media consumption over the last three years than that which had changed in the three decades preceding. The report, based on a new study of 7,000 online consumers ages 13 to 74, found that the average person now spends half or more of their waking time interacting with media outlets, thanks in part to iPhones, Facebook, and laptop computers. The shift is so dramatic that younger consumers, in particular students, have increased their media consumption by an hour per day over the last two years.

More students have access to smart-phones and web-enabled devices. They prefer surfing the Internet than cracking open a book. This vital study calls relevance to shifting trends in instructional delivery. Teachers must now learn to accommodate students and the changing ways in which they access information. TO effectively reach students, instructors will lean more and more towards e-books, online learning platforms, and digital research portals. Not to fear: students use the internet for more than just surfing Facebook and Twitter. While the ways in which people access information is shifting, the Internet is now a major source of news and primetime viewing. Accurate and reliable information can be accessed online from highly credible sources – students need only be educated on finding such sources and in assessing their worthiness accordingly. Of course, for this to happen, teachers must too be educated on the ins and outs of effective and efficient internet research tools. "These changes put the premium on good content, because content is the medium now," Friend said. "Content is its own media platform, and instead of worrying about timeslots, companies would do well to attach ads to content so it lives and thrives with it in a meaningful way."

Photo Credit: Mikael Miettinen

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