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The Second Machine Age

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

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Arum, Roksa, and their colleagues document that college students today spend only 9 percent of their time studying (compared to 51 percent on “socializing, recreating, and other”), much less than in previous decades, and that only 42 percent reported having taken a class the previous semester that required them to read at least forty pages a week and write at least twenty pages total. They write that, “The portrayal of higher education emerging from [this research] is one of an institution focused more on social than academic experiences. Students spend very little time studying, and professors rarely demand much from them in terms of reading and writing.”