Students & Technology - Internet Access and Dependency

Author: Bethany Spencer

Posted: 09 Nov 2017

Estimated time to read: 4 mins

We’ve been talking a lot about the internet this week, the power of it, the scale of it and what the impact would be if we didn’t have access to it.student internet access

We’re fortunate enough to live in the UK where access to the internet is plentiful - 89% of all UK households have access to the internet and on top of that, 99% of households with children have access to the internet, meaning that student internet access is high at home. The latter figure shows just how integrated the internet is with the youth of today.

This level of access to the internet for students has of course raised concerns, but in the context of learning in schools today the internet and edtech provides students with learning opportunities unfathomable when we were at school. Edtech has existed for many years now, when I was at school there were VLEs and at home revision sites we were instructed to use for homework, 8 years ago my learning was dependent on an adequate internet connection but I could have survived without it.

However, the concept of university without the internet is incomprehensible, which must be the case for many students today at school making it almost impossible for students to be without internet at home. 80% of the references I used were from online sources; not just online journals and ebooks but websites and even social media streams. All lecture notes I took were hosted on Google Drive and any correspondence I had with lecturers was via email - even my timetable was on an app.

All of this got me thinking, I only graduated from university 3 years ago, but it only took the 2 year gap between finishing my GCSEs and starting university, for me to find learning almost impossible without the use of the internet. With the current rate at which technology is developing and the internet is expanding, just how dependent are we today on the internet and would our current careers be feasible without it? I spoke to the rest of Marketing to find out what our fate would be without the internet:

Nabeelah, Social Media Executive:

I’ve finally mastered getting my point across in 140 characters (now 280!!!) for Twitter so I’d have to learn how to write in full sentences again. As all Social Media platforms and Marketing tools rely on the internet to function, I’d be extremely limited as to what I can do, so I’d say that no part of my job could be done without internet access.

What would be the thing you’d miss most without access to the internet?

I’d miss being able to get to places, in London or abroad - I rely on Google/Apple Maps to tell me where to go and without it, I’d be lost. Buzzfeed keeps me up to date with what’s happening in the world so I’d definitely be clueless without that. I’d probably be forced to live on pasta or would have to invest in recipe books as I couldn’t use any meal inspiration apps, and finally, the biggest loss: Netflix, Spotify and online shopping.

Bethany, PR & Content Executive:

Based on the fact that the main purpose of my job is creating content, I could technically still function without the use of the internet. We could produce in-house brochures, whitepapers and case studies, etc, but the reach of the content would be limited without the internet - also, this process would take a a lot longer than usual without the ability to use the internet for research.

In terms of PR, I’d have to do a lot of cold calling and I’d actually have to buy a lot of newspapers and not just look online or use Google alerts for hijacks. The award application process would be painful without being able to share documents via Google Drive. I’d have to do a lot of proofing before the final submission, and that would have to be via post I assume?

What would be the thing you’d miss most without access to the internet?

Either curated playlists on Spotify, Whatsapp (obviously) or being able to find the answer to things instantly. I’d kind of miss Songkick as well but I would also stop spending all of my money on gig tickets.

Henry, Creative Director:

Internet access is essential for my role. Working as part of the creative team, it’s important to draw inspiration from trends and to know what is popular with consumers. The use of the internet allows me to research ideas that traditionally would have been very time consuming and costly to do. The ability to learn new techniques and processes constantly makes building on knowledge so much easier and less intrusive.

What would be the thing you’d miss most without access to the internet?

The thing I’d miss most about the internet would be the ability to have any piece of information at your fingertips instantly.

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