The Thema report finds that:
Students know when to “e-” and when not to “e-”, blending the affordances of tools and interactions in the online and real worlds. They also recognise the special atmosphereengendered when students and lecturers are co-present in the classroom and feel thatthe learning experience may be diminished if lectures are offered as podcasts.
Students’ perception of their proficiency in their use of digital technologies may be at variance with the behaviours that they actually display in terms of the range of tools used and their curiosity in finding out what is available.
Although over 90% of students have laptops, they tend not to take them to classes for a range of reasons that include the weight and/or poor condition of the equipment, fear of theft and preference for taking notes by hand.
Students are –or become –adept at accessing and evaluating information in digital environments, in using specialist (domain-specific) tools needed to support their learning, and in finding online tools either themselves or by asking friends. They are also able to implement their own strategies to resist distractions from social tools.
Facebook is the dominant medium of informal peer communication, both for academic support and for social purposes. However, postgraduate students consider social networks inappropriate environments for formal learning.
Technologies such as Skype and Facebook play an important role in enabling overseas students in adapting to an unfamiliar academic and social environment through keeping in touch with friends and family at home.