Portrait of a User #1

These ‘Portrait of a user’ posts aim to provide snapshots of both staff and students in higher education.

Mel, Mature 3rd Year Anthropology Student (part time)

Interview conducted by MSN, Oct 07

What do you think of as ‘technology’?

Anything online, I use the University databases a lot.

How would you describe your ability to use technology?

I think through work and my partner being involved in IT I am probably more knowledgeable than most of my fellow students

What sort of technologies do you typically use?

Through my athens log in, all the relevant databases to my course, facebook, msn, I am also registered to a online datastore for literature that can be read in pdf.

On a typical day what’s the first couple of things you do when you switch on your computer?

Log in to msn (automatically), check hotmail and my university email and VLE for updates.

Your institution uses a Virtual Learning Environment, how much time do you spend using it and what are the main things you do in there?

I use it to check essay questions, seminar and lecture updates and relevant reading we need to do.

Do you have your own blog or something similar that you use either for your academic work or outside?

No, but I have been thinking about starting a personal blog.

Do you use any social networking sites?

I use Facebook.

How do you feel about using the same sites for your academic work, such as discussions etc?

There are a lot of anthropology groups from my institution on Facebook but I am not a member of any of them, I don’t really consider myself as my university would put it a ‘3D student’, i.e a student who gets involved with all the activities and the ‘brand’ – I’m a 2D student, I want what I paid for – my degree.

If there was a ‘device x’, a technology that doesn’t currently exist, or one that you’re not aware of, that could help you with your studies, what would it be, what would it do?

Annotated and indexed podcasts, that would be very helpful – as I work it would be nice to review things and have website links if I am unable to make it to the library, especially as there are shortages of key texts.

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