N. Spranger, L. Pedro, R. Santos

University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
In order to better understand the activities and motivations associated to digital media use in classroom context of higher education students, participatory observations were carried out within the classroom with two groups of students from Communication Sciences and Technologies scientific area, as well as individual interviews with some of the students and their teachers.

The achieved results show that students are closely involved with social and digital media inside and outside the classroom. When they are in the classroom, they still feel the need to answer to SMS and instant messages that they receive, to have permanent connection to the Internet or to share contents as photos. This study also reveals that many students connect to digital media with the aim of be entertained because they are bored with the subjects of the classes. However, there are also some students that use digital media as a support to classes. This research also reveals the perceptions of the students and their teachers about this kind of digital media dependency as well as some solutions to mitigate it as, among others, to change the way lessons are given.

Drawing on the data, it is possible to know in more depth the behavior of Higher Education students regarding the use of digital media in the classroom and, thus, to contribute to the debate around education for the use of digital media.