But students can be distracted from classwork, too, as more than half in a survey said they checked Facebook or MySpace and sent or received e-mail while in class.
Use Wi-Fi, get better grades.
That's the message of a survey of U.S. college students, with three out of five respondents saying they wouldn't attend a college that doesn't have Wi-Fi.
And, yes, it makes learning much easier, too, according to 79% of the students who said college would be much harder without Wi-Fi. The survey of 501 students was conducted by Wakefield Research for the Wi-Fi Alliance.
"Wi-Fi has become a universal expectation among college students and their attitudes towards technology are a good indicator of broad changes underway in how we as a society learn, work and communicate," said Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance, in a statement. "Young adults expect access to information with unprecedented immediacy."
The alliance indicated that many prospective college students observe whether colleges they are considering attending have widespread Wi-Fi access.
Once they become students, many -- two in five -- use Wi-Fi to get a head start on assignments before a class concludes. But students can be distracted from classwork, too. More than half said they checked Facebook or MySpace and sent or received e-mail while in class.
"Wi-Fi is expected as part of today's campus experience both from an educational perspective as well as from a social perspective," said Stan Schatt, VP and research director at ABI Research. "We expect to see Wi-Fi penetration in U.S. universities at 99% by 2013."
Colleges and universities have been adding to their Wi-Fi offerings on campuses, and the phenomenon appears to be gathering momentum. While Dartmouth, always on the leading edge of technology offerings for students, could launch an ambitious Wi-Fi program in 2005, the University of Minnesota is currently rolling out what it announced as "the world's largest 802.11n deployment." It will cover more than 1,200 acres when completed.
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?