Slow Train to the Future

By Steve Kolowich

Tablets are in, computer labs are out, and the cloud is the new hard drive — these are the interwoven threads upon which college students are hoisting themselves into the future of campus computing. So say technology futurists, those whisperers who strive to interpret for the rest of us the inscrutable “digital natives” who now roam undergraduate campuses.

But new data from Student Monitor, a market research firm that tracks actual consumer trends among traditional-age college students at four-year institutions, unravels those threads a bit. As it turns out, students appear more likely to store data on their local devices and networks, and to use college-owned computers, than they are to save documents in the cloud and eschew communal machines entirely in favor of their own.

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