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Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
US students flock to net
Students on computers at university
Most students check e-mail every day
The generation that grew up alongside the internet now cannot live without it, a US survey has found.

According to the Pew Internet think tank, 86% of college students use the internet and rely on it for every dimension of life on campus.

The libraries of US universities are gathering dust as nearly three-quarters of students confess to using the internet more than traditional books for research.

Over half believe that e-mail has improved relationships with professors, saying they are able to express ideas to a teacher in an e-mail in a way they would not feel able to in class.

Information cornerstone

"Today's college students were born around the time the first PCs were introduced to the public and they have grown up with these technologies," said author of the report, Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois Steve Jones.

Students and the net
72% check e-mail daily
60% think net has improved friendships
72% use the web more than libraries
"To them the internet and e-mail are as commonplace as telephones and television, and equally as indispensable," he said.

Students are far more likely that other surfers to use instant messaging and download and share music files.

On a typical day more than a quarter of college students used messaging, compared to 12% of other surfers.

Almost two-thirds of college internet users have downloaded music files, compared to 28% of the general internet population.

"The students made clear that the internet is the information cornerstone of their lives, not just on school projects but on every subject that matters to them," said Professor Jones.

He believes that students taking these online habits into their post-university lives and workplaces will lead to significant changes in both work and leisure.

See also:

10 Sep 02 | Technology
09 Sep 02 | Business
19 Apr 01 | Science/Nature
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