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Open Access

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

  • Eliana Gallardo Echenique1Email author,
  • Luis Marqués Molías1 and
  • Mark Bullen2
International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201512:12010025

Received: 15 December 2013

Accepted: 15 March 2014

Published: 15 January 2015


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 learnershigher educationdigital technologyICT