College – U. Got It?

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Laptops, smartphones are key accessories for students, but pen and paper aren't completely out, either.Hey, you got a pen? You may have whispered that to a friend in high school on a day when you had a test or needed to take notes and completely forgot about bringing a pen or pencil to class.

When you’re in college, it’s more likely you’ll be bringing your laptop, tablet and/or smartphone to class to take notes during a professor’s lecture. But when you’re getting ready for that first week of school, go ahead and grab a box or pencils and pens – you’ll likely need them, too.

I often see college students often hunched over hand-written notes, preparing for exams. One big reason is that the lure of Facebook, fun apps, and other distractions causes some students to embrace plain old pen and paper when they get down to the business of learning and studying.

Even though a recent study shows students have an average of 6.9 gadgets at college, 79 percent of students report
 that they typically take notes with pen and paper, according to the 13th annual College Explorer survey (powered by Crux Research for re:fuel, a New York-based media and promotions firm).

The survey also breaks down students’ use of technology, with these interesting findings – see if this matches with what you’re bringing to school:

• 85 percent of students own laptops

• 69 percent of students own smartphones

• 68 percent of students have video game consoles

• 67 percent of students have MP3 players

• 62 percent of students have printers

In terms of using technology for school, laptops are most-often used:

• 70 percent of students use laptops for research and coursework

• 47 percent of students regularly use laptops to take notes during class

With tablets, 33 percent of students use tablets for work/research and 33 percent of students use tablets to take notes during class. Only about 13 percent of students use their smartphones for note taking (those students have to be incredibly fast on their phones!)

I also wonder how many students just snap a picture of smart boards, PowerPoints and other images and notes that professors put on a screen. Have you done that before or would you consider doing that? Also, how do you plan to use technology during college? Let us know in the comments section below!

Lori Johnston

Lori Johnston is a freelance writer based in Athens, Ga. She is a former Associated Press reporter and has contributed to many publications, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and People magazine. A 1995 graduate of the University of Georgia, Johnston also serves as an adjunct professor in the school’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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