Law librarian extraordinaire Rich McCue, at the University of Victoria (British Columbia), surveys incoming law students about their technology use every year. This fall he had a 90% response rate to the survey. Here's what he found (the full report, including graphics, is on his website):
- Phones: 96% of incoming law students own Smart Phones: 54% iPhones, 31% Android and 11% Blackberry (Blackberry usage is down from 27% two years ago). New law students are primarily using their mobile devices for directions, email, and looking up schedules & contact information.
- Tablets and eBook ownership have doubled in the past year with 44% of students owning tablet devices or ebook readers, up from 31% last year. However, 64% of students never bring their tablet or ebook reader to school, "probably indicating a preference for laptops for note taking and research, and still heavy reliance on printed text books".
- When asked if they would use a library run tablet lending program, 53% said they would not use it while 18% said they would use it daily or weekly.
- Phone communication: 92% of students use Skype for real-time audio/video calls and collaboration. 42% use Apple Facetime and 9% use Google Hangouts.
- Email: 59% of students use Gmail as their primary email account, 22% Outlook.com, and 6% use their university email.
- Data storage and collaboration: 49% of students use Dropbox, up from 22% last year. 41% use Google drive, up from 33% last year. 15% use Apple iCloud up from 4%. 3% use Microsoft Sky Drive which is unchanged from last year.
- Social Media: 92% of students use Facebook (down from 97% two years ago), 31% user Twitter, 19% Linked In, 8% Google+ and 3% don’t use online social networks.
- Laptops: 97% of students own laptops. 57% of laptops are Macs, up from 49% last year. 44% use Windows, down from 48% last year. 68% of students bring their laptops to school regularly & 21% bring them never or rarely.
- Class Notes: 73% of students use laptops to take class notes, 72% use pen and paper, 3% use tablets and 4% use cell phones. 11% record lecture audio with their laptops or audio recorder.