Students in higher education: Social and academic uses of digital technology

  • Eliana Gallardo Echenique
  • Luis Marqués Molías
  • Mark Bullen
Open Access
Research Articles


This article presents the results of an in-depth interview of twenty Education students at a public face-to-face university in Catalonia on how they use digital technologies in their social and academic lives. The results show that while students have a certain level of competence in digital technology, the way they use the technologies varies according to their purpose. The results also show that social networks and WhatsApp are the most important applications for students, because they enable them to contact others, communicate with each other over long distances, and contact people with shared interests.


digital learners higher education digital technology ICT 

El estudiante en la educación superior: Usos académicos y sociales de la tecnología digital


Este artículo presenta los resultados de una entrevista en profundidad realizada a veinte estudiantes de Educación de una universidad presencial pública de Cataluña sobre cómo utilizan las tecnologías digitales en el aspecto social y académico. Esta investigación demuestra que, si bien los estudiantes tienen un cierto nivel de habilidades en tecnologías digitales, cómo las utilizan varía en función del propósito que ellos les dan o según una tarea determinada. Los resultados expuestos evidencian que las redes sociales y el WhatsApp son las aplicaciones más importantes para los estudiantes porque les permiten ponerse en contacto con otros, comunicarse a pesar de las distancias y estar en contacto con personas con intereses comunes.

Palabras clave

estudiante digital educación superior tecnología digital TIC 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliana Gallardo Echenique
    • 1
  • Luis Marqués Molías
    • 1
  • Mark Bullen
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Education Sciences and PsychologyRovira i Virgili UniversityTarragonaSpain
  2. 2.VancouverCanada

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