The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac 2013 was published this week, complete with insights from the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research’s annual survey of college students and IT.  This year’s survey collected data between February and April from 112,000 students at 251 institutions.  Five interesting findings:

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  • What device do the most students own?  Smartphone?  Tablet?  No, 89% of students own laptops, 75% own smartphones, and only 30% own iPads and other tablets.  Notably, though, the percentage of students who own tablets has doubled in each of the last two years, whereas student smartphone ownership is growing more slowly, and laptop ownership is static.
  • And what device do students say is most important to their academic success?  Once again, the humble laptop is rated #1, with 91% of students reporting that it is very or extremely important to their academic success.  The desktop computer (yes, the desktop!) is second at 62%, while smartphones and tablets trail at 48% and 44% respectively.
  • How about e-books?  Almost three-fourths (74%) of the students say they’ve used e-books (including e-textbooks) in their courses in the past year.  But of the students who used e-books, almost half (47%) report they only used e-books in only one course.
  • What tools do students wish their instructors used more?  Lecture capture, learning management systems, integrated use of laptops during class, and online collaboration each garnered the vote of at least 3 out of 5 students.
  • And the flip side?  Half of the students wished their instructors used e-portfolios less.  Of the 10 tools mentioned in this question, the e-portfolio was the only one for which “use less” outpolled “use more,” and it was by a 2-to-1 margin!

What tech trends do you see in your classes?  What are students telling you about teaching and learning tools?