Freshmen are Mobile, Social, and Always Connected

Results of the 2015 Freshmen Technology Survey are in and they confirm that our first year students are indeed part of Generation Z: Connected from Birth.  We surveyed incoming students during the summer orientation session and received over 500 responses.


Devices and phones students are bringing to campusStudents can access the internet anywhere they can get a signal.

  • 99% of students responding reported that they would bring a smart phone to campus
  • 91% are bringing a laptop
  • 41% are bringing tablets


Students use the internet to connect with information but even more to connect with each other, increasingly over video.

  • 90% use the web for social media
  • 66% use FaceTime
  • 50% use Skype

Top Social Media?

The two leading social media tools–Snapchat and Instagram–focus on instantaneous, impermanent communication.

  • Snapchat: 82%
  • Instagram: 81%
  • Facebook: 69%
  • Twitter: 59%

While our students are comfortable using technology for socializing and accessing information, they are less practiced at using it for creation, academic purposes, and productivity.  As this year’s first-year students make the transition to college, we–their instructors and university staff–will need to help them partner with technology to create, to solve problem, and to manage their personal and academic projects.

What’s Next?

When asked what new technologies most interested them, the clear winner was 3D printing at 57%, with wearable tech (like the fitbit) coming in at 51%.  Looks like those TLTR pilots are coming just in time.

What new technologies most interest students

Full Results

See full results of our 2015 Freshmen Technology Survey in our infographic, created by SEU Senior Elyssa Turner.  Questions covered include how students prefer to communicate with instructors, as well as how they take notes, write papers, and keep to do lists: FreshmanTechSurvery_2015_finalupdate

Freshman Technology Survey Infographic Thumbnail

Click the image for larger version


And compare this year’s answers with those from last year: 2014 Freshman Technology Survey

Using Box for Collaborative Cloud Storage in Your Courses

Box is a cloud storage and collaboration solution available to St. Edward’s University students, faculty, and staff. With Box, you can create, store, collaborate, and access files and information securely from anywhere, on a multitude of devices. Faculty, you have 50 GB of storage space on Box. Use it today to save files for your courses and share folders and files with your students or colleagues to collaborate.

Box Logo How do I Access Box?

To access your new Box account, visit and click continue. You will be routed to the myHilltop login screen, and after successfully entering your St. Edward’s username and password, you will be routed to your Box dashboard.

Once logged in, you can check out the “Welcome to Box” resources folder provided for you. Please review the Box SEU FAQ document. There is also helpful documentation and videos, to help you get the most out of the great Box benefits now available to you, including:

How are Faculty using Box Today?Box Interface

Faculty, staff, and students are currently using Box for their work and courses. Here are a few faculty stories of how Box is used for their courses:

Kim Garza, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, uses Box in her course and shared her story:

“I wanted to share what happened in my class yesterday with Box. At the beginning of the semester, I created a class folder by posting the collaboration link in Bb/Canvas (super easy). We’ve been adding files to it along the way. But yesterday, I asked them to edit a Box note in class. They were so jazzed by the colored boxes with their initials moving all over the place. It was a bit performative in nature. I enjoyed watching them delight in collaborating in the cloud synchronously. Now, I will say that their task wasn’t really profound — an over-glorified sign-up sheet — but the engagement and geek-out factor was off the charts.”

Other faculty, including the Capstone Faculty, such as Todd Onderdonk, Associate Professor Of University Studies, are encouraging their students to use Box as a great option for the students to store the electronic parts of their research files in Box folders, and to help them with their research processes.

Jump In or Get Help

Box is fully available to all faculty, staff, and students of St. Edward’s University.  Feel free to start using it whenever you are ready. If you would like support, however, in using box, the Office of Information Technology can help.

Freshmen Technology Survey

What device do you prefer to access the web?How connected are the incoming freshmen?  What technology tools do they use?  What tools would they like to use?  Every summer Instructional Technology surveys incoming freshmen during Orientation.  Below are highlights from 590 or our incoming freshmen.  View this infographic of the 2014 Freshman Technology Survey Results to see the complete survey results.

  • Apple is clearly the choice for incoming students!  52% of students are bringing Mac laptops, 21 % have iPads, and 71% have iPhones.  This has been a growing trend over the last few years with 39% bringing Mac laptops last year and 62% bringing iPhones.
  • Students are increasingly using mobile devices to access email, with 68% checking email on their phone.  Only 2% did not have a smart phone and all reported having some type of phone.
  • The laptop is still the preferred method to access the web at 64% but 25% prefer to use their phone.
  • Facebook use is down (72% compared to 87% last year) but Twitter use remains at 53%.  Instagram is used by 74% and Snapchat by 65%. Less than 3% of the incoming freshmen report using none of these social media apps.
  • Email is still preferred 66% to 33% as the method for instructors to contact students.
  • Google services are widely used.  37% of students have used Google Docs, 60% prefer Chrome as their web browser, 55% use Google Drive for file storage and 81% have Gmail accounts.
  • 28%  have never read a book in digital format which is a lower percentage than the 42% that reported never reading an ebook last year.
  • 56% of the freshmen are interested in 3-D Printing, 41% in Google Glass, 30% in wearable technologies and 24% in drones.

Full 2014 Freshmen Technology Survey


Click on the image to see the full infographic.

Learn about Local Archives for Student Research, Sunday, October 19, 2-6 pm

Interior of old St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, Alice, TX, June, 1936; photographer unknown. Courtesy of Catholic Archives of Texas

Interior of old St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, Alice, TX, June, 1936; photographer unknown. Courtesy of Catholic Archives of Texas

One of the greatest resources for students doing research at St. Edward’s University is Austin itself—its community, environment, and history.  This coming Sunday twenty Central Texas archives will be showing off their amazing collections in one big room.  These archives are perfect sources for students looking to research local history or issues.  Such archives provide opportunities for students to do their own authentic research rather than just reading about the research of others.  So if you are looking for ideas for future student research projects, check out the Austin Archives Bazaar, Sunday, October 19th from 2-6 p.m. at the Spiderhouse Ballroom near 29th Street and Guadalupe in Central Austin.  The event is free and features Continue reading

5 Things to Know for the Start of the Semester


1. Photo Rosters & More on Faculty/Advisor Tab in myHilltop

New for the Fall 2014 semester, Faculty and Advisors now have a customized page in myHilltop.

From this page, you can access course information, class lists with photos, grade submission, and more for each of your classes each semester. You can find Instructional Technology events and our blog posts here also!

More information about the Faculty/Advisor tab

2. Using Terms to Group Courses by Semester in Blackboard

Tired of searching through the long list of courses in the My Courses module in Blackboard?

You can now use terms in Blackboard to make it easier to find your classes by organizing them by semester. To set up the Terms, click on the gear icon to the left of My Courses.
Course Module with arrow pointing at gear icon in right corner

In the Terms section, click on the box next to “Group by Term” and then select the terms you wish to display.
Checkbox next to term

Click on Submit.  Course terms will now appear in the My Courses list.
Terms listed in separate lines

Travis county Almanac3. Creating a Website/Blog for Yourself, Your Course, Your Students Using CampusPress

Would you like to create a personal, course or research website or start your own blog? All St. Edward’s faculty, staff and students can easily create their own website or blog via Campus Press (formerly EduBlogs) powered by WordPress. You can also create multi-author course blogs where each student is a contributor. You can log in at to get started. If you’d like assistance contact us at

4. One Page for All Student Academic Support Services

Students can now see all the academic support services and solutions available to them on one page. From Advising to the Writing Center all of the options are listed on the Student Academic Support Services Page.  From this page students can sign up for one-on-one appointments with Instructional Technology Training staff, view video tutorials or sign up for workshops or the Innovation Creation Lounge.

5. Making Your Blackboard Courses Available to Students

All courses, instructors and student enrollments are loaded automatically into Blackboard. However, all classes are unavailable to students by default. If you are using Blackboard for your course, please make your course available to students.

• In the Control Panel, select Customization and then Properties.

• In the Set Availability section choose yes to make the course available, then click Submit.

Visit the Innovation Creation Lounge (LIBR 248)

Do your students need help using Photoshop, InDesign, HTML or Excel to complete course projects?  Students can get help at the Innovation Creation Lounge with these applications and many more. A dedicated trainer will be available to answer questions and offer assistance in Library room 248 on Mondays from 10am-Noon and Fridays from 1pm-3pm.

Please let your students know about this opportunity to receive help outside of class. Students can bring their own device (BYOD) or use the dedicated iMac available with all the Adobe and Microsoft software installed. Students don’t need an appointment and can just drop by any time during those hours for help. For questions about the Innovation Creation Lounge or any training support questions, please

Removal of the Computer Competencies

As of December 2013, the Academic Council has voted to eliminate the Computer Competencies Requirement effective immediately. The Computer Competencies have been a requirement for traditional undergraduate and new college students at St. Edward’s University since 1999. The purpose of these was to help students be capable of demonstrating knowledge about basic computer skills they needed for any course environment learning the following modules:

  • Introduction to Computers (covering basic computer concepts on either the Windows or Macintosh operating system)
  • WWW and Internet Communications
  • Introduction to Word Processing
  • Introduction to Spreadsheets
  • Introduction to Multimedia Presentations

The Academic Council voted to remove this requirement because most St. Edward’s University students enter college with basic knowledge in these areas.  This change means Undergraduate students NO LONGER need to complete this requirement to register for the CULF 2321 or HONS 2321, and for Transfer students prior to registering for CULF 3330 or HONS 3375. Also, New College students NO LONGER need to complete this requirement prior to finishing their core required courses. If you have any questions, please contact Joana Trimble Gandara, 512-464-8816.

Alternatives to get Support

We recognize that digital skills are still important for students, but that they must be learned in the context of the work they are doing for courses.  Therefore, instructional technology is moving towards providing a variety of support options for a twenty-first century learning environment for students, including scheduled classes and on-demand services.  We offer  support to students in the following ways:

We encourage you and your students to utilize our services. Contact for questions.

Build your Classroom Technology Toolbox

On September 24, Instructional Technology held a tech snack focused on free tools for classroom use.

What types of technology do you use in your classroom?

Do you need your students to complete their assignments with certain types of software? You can create your own technology toolbox  from cloud-based tools that are free to use and can benefit students both during the course and after. If you need training for yourself or your students on any of the software that is listed, please contact with your request.

Classroom Management, Collaboration, and Productivity:

Social Bookmarking and Personal Research:

Web Based Presentation Tools

Free E-Books and Other Open Educational Resources

Website Development

Students, Faculty, and Staff Discounts on Microsoft Office 365 and 2013. What are your options?

St. Edward’s University students, faculty, and staff have the option to use to purchase and download software products for personal use. Some of these products include Office 365 University for students, faculty, and staff, and Office Professional Plus 2013 for faculty and staff.

When it comes to deciding what software best meets your needs, you need to do the research, but we have already done that for you. It is up to you whether you want to subscribe (rent), purchase a license (own), or use an online free version of Microsoft Office. Shown below are the personal use options available for faculty, staff, and students:

Steps to Purchase Office 365 University for Students or Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Faculty and Staff

Visit and select the Institution Type: College/University and then select the Country and State/Province as Texas and click on Go and select Saint Edwards University.  There, you may purchase and download the available software products for Students and Faculty/Staff.

Steps to Create a Microsoft Account and use and Download SkyDrive

First, visit to create a Microsoft account, and then visit to sign-in using your Microsoft account and view email or select SkyDrive. To download SkyDrive to sync your files visit

Now that you know the various Microsoft Office options to choose from, you just have to decide which type works best for you. For more information and other references visit:

Ecycling is Available on Campus

Don’t produce electronic waste (e-Waste or e-Scrap). e-Waste can be defined as loosely, discarded, surplus, obsolete, or broken electrical or electronic devices, according to Round2 a national electronics recycling company that provides integrated and customizable electronics recycling services.

St. Edward’s University is working with Round2 to provide eCycling on campus to all students, faculty, and staff.


Students can now eCycle in each resident hall. There are collection bins available in each residence hall where you may drop off the following:

  • toner cartridges
  • ink cartridges
  • and batteries

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff may drop off any toner cartridges or ink cartridges at the Copy Center. There is a collection bin available.

More information about sustainability initiatives on campus could be found on the St. Edward’s University Office of Sustainability.

Also, I.T. Training offers a Green I.T. workshop that covers tips on making environmentally responsible purchases of technology equipment at both the personal level and institutional level.