Thursday, August 8th, 2013

EDU Survey: How are University Students, Faculty and Administrators Using Technology?

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Those of you who are familiar with Box history may know that the company got its start in a college dorm room. Or rather, two dorm rooms. Co-founders Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith were sophomores at USC and Duke, respectively, when they decided to create a better way to share files online. Both were frustrated with the inadequate ways of storing and sharing files at the time: emailing homework assignments as attachments to themselves so they could access them on other computers and passing group projects around on thumb drives. So in 2005, Box was born.

Fast-forward to today, and Box helps more than 150,000 businesses of all sizes manage and collaborate on information in the cloud and from mobile devices. And fittingly, Box has come full circle with huge growth in the education sector over the past few years. More than 100 universities use Box to better share information – not just within student populations, but within the faculty and administration as well.

We’re pretty excited about what’s possible when you put the latest technology in the hands of the students who will become the future workforce – and in the hands of the teachers and administrators who are helping to shape that future. In July, we polled a total of 700 students, faculty and administrators from U.S. colleges and universities that are currently using Box to better understand how they’re using technology more broadly in education. We’re grateful they took time away from their summer vacations to share the following insights.

survey stats

Not surprisingly, a lot of the people polled consider themselves to have some level of geek cred. According to the survey, a large majority of students (78%), faculty (77%) and administrators (80%) consider themselves to be at least fairly tech savvy. When asked how they felt about their schools’ tech proficiency, the majority of them felt their schools did a pretty good job of using technology in the classroom, but few considered their school to be very tech savvy.  This gap reveals an opportunity to help schools get on par with their early-adopter user bases.

The survey also found that 50% of students are doing schoolwork daily from smartphones or tablets. (Clearly a lot has changed since Aaron and Dylan were in school). But unfortunately, getting online access to classroom materials isn’t easy: only 38% of students can get all their materials online. And while most teachers (86%) believe that online and mobile tools make learning easier, fewer than 34% of them are using education apps in their classrooms. 40% of the students surveyed said they’re using education-specific apps.

Of course, we had to ask a few questions about how this group is using Box as well. We found that around 60% of students, faculty and administrators are using Box multiple times per week to do things like manage and organize work, collaborate with teams and access content from any location or device. All three groups agreed that the biggest benefit of Box is the ease of sharing documents with others. And over 95% of them indicated that they would recommend Box to colleagues. We’ll take that!

But we’re only just getting started! Today, we’ve announced a number of new web and mobile partnerships to make Box even more useful for both K-12 and higher education institutions.

If you are interested in learning more about how Box can help you improve your learning environment, please check out our education industry page. We’d love to hear your story or answer your questions on twitter, @BoxHQ, with the hashtag #BoxEDU.