Posted October 13, 2010 by Gillian Thiebe 

Are Your Students Listening?

Oh, they’re listening all right, but to what? Walk on any given campus, on any given day and you will see swarms of students making their way from one building to another typically by foot, maybe by bus or car, but you will notice one very common element. Did you guess it? Oh yeah, you know this … the two little buds that seem to never leave their ears which are connected to their Ipod, MP3 player or cell phone. Ah ha, now you’re with me. Of course, it’s not just students. As a walk-to-work kind of girl myself, I use my ear buds every morning and evening. Or how about when you travel? It’s the perfect excuse not to have that awkward flight conversation, right?

There is an interesting twist to this as professors and institutions hop on board the ear bud train. Students are using MP3 players more to listen to downloaded books, instructional classroom podcasts, study guides, textbooks, and language labs. The percentages are still small, according to a study by market research firm Harrison Group Inc. that surveyed 1,000 teens in 2006, but the actual numbers are growing, and companies that make educational materials are banking on them climbing higher. Currently, music listening makes up about 85 percent of MP3 use, video about 10 percent, and podcasts and audio texts fell under the remaining 5 percent.

“Students are more mobile today. Their expectation of being able to get digital content is certainly much higher than it has been in the past,” said Scott Criswell, product manager of online delivery systems for the higher education unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., one of the three biggest textbook publishers. Criswell said the company now offers more than 800 digital products, most with audio, and that figure has increased by 50 percent over the past four years.

/uploadedImages/_PUBLISHED_CONTENT/Publications/The_Commons/promos101310.jpg Clearly, ear buds have become a permanent part of the wardrobe for many. With the trending educational value, why not encourage the use of new technology within the classroom and promote your event or program at the same time? Students are listening and your message can be one of those they receive daily or even hourly as they place those two little buds in their ears. As you prepare to promote your next function, department, or union, consider having your logo on every student body (literally) in a different, more useful format for them. Get them to listen, find pricing for ear buds on our website

Contact ACUI Procure Promos to find out how to best promote your union by emailing save@acui.org or calling 812.245.8070.

Gillian Thiebe

Gillian Thiebe is the SUNAPSIS Business Manager at Indiana University–Bloomington.

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