Are Australians using technology more due to COVID-19?

The answer is YES … and, NO. This, the final post in a series, reports on data I’ve been gathering for a range of clients that sheds light on this finding.

MoAD Learning: Teachers

A survey of 120 teachers conducted for MoAD Learning (Canberra) found they were roughly evenly split about whether they were using tech more due to COVID-19:

  • 44% reported using a lot more
  • 38% somewhat
  • 18% no change

Their comments about this fell into four areas:

  1. No change as they have always integrated tech into their teaching practices
  2. Enhanced use of, and learning more about, some platforms
  3. Changed work practices due to tech
  4. Little or no change

The Australian National Submarine Museum

I have been fortunate enough to be working with folks from the (future) Australian National Submarine Museum (ANSM), an online museum due to be launched at the end of 2021. As part of this we conducted a survey with members of the Submarine Institute of Australia and the Submarines Association Australia.

Of our 171 respondents (mostly male and aged 50+) we found:

  • 27% using tech a lot more
  • 15% somewhat
  • 58% not really

Australian Population

As part of the ANSM project we undertook a general population sample of 200 Australians in November to make some comparisons to the membership across a range of areas, including technology. We found:

  • 33% using tech a lot more
  •    2% using it less
  • 10% somewhat
  • 43% not really

There were differences in gender and age:

  • Females and those aged 18-49 are using tech a lot more, and males / those aged 50+ reported they were using tech about the same as before – so, no real change for them (similar to the member survey above).

Some comments:

  • I’ve not previously shopped online but now find I’m willing to at least research these sites.
  • Spend more time in front of computer.
  • My reliance on and use of technology has increased noticeably during this time.
  • Everything feels the same way at home.
  • I didn’t have a smartphone before Covid-19. I didn’t see the need. But I love it now. I use it a lot for reading.

Final thoughts

Taken together, the issue appears to be that many Australians were already quite heavy users of technology for work and leisure, with the most notable increase due to COVID being online shopping and QR codes, as well as using Zoom as a platform for both work purposes and to connect with family and friends (with both positive and negative experiences reported). From the population survey, this particularly applies to younger Australians and women.

Teachers were also more likely to report using tech more, which is to be expected given the studies into students’ and teachers’ views about, and experiences with, remote learning.

I’m looking forward to 2021 to see if the lessons we’ve learned are applied to the ways we use tech, how we work, where and how we learn and how we communicate.

Previous posts in this series:

 

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