Digital Natives: Is there evidence?


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  • Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this seminar at your University. Anyone who has been following the academic literature and mass media, will not have missed the amount of attention excited by the idea that a new generation of students is entering the educational system. It is claimed that this generation have sophisticated technical skills and cognitive capacities and that the educational system is not prepared to accommodate the needs of these so-called digital natives. The affordances of emerging social technologies themselves form a substantial part of this argument. The second generation web: brings about decentralisation of authority in knowledge creation and technology ownership; it allows users to generated, share and remix content and data at very low cost and without specialist skills The result of these developments, the argument goes, is widening of the gap between the culture of the educational institutions and learners’ lives outside universities. The actual situation however is far from clear, and much of the debate has largely remained at the level of rhetoric. In an attempt to introduce evidence-base to this debate, in the past years a number of empirical studies began to investigate young people’s experiences of using technologies. Today I would like to share with you the findings of one such empirical study that colleagues and I conducted last year.
  • Digital Natives: Is there evidence?

    1. 1. digital natives: is there evidence?
    2. 2. students’ use of technology in formal and informal learning full report :
    3. 3. Part 1: Students’ Views
    4. 6. formal learning (course)
    5. 7. Informal learning
    6. 8. socialising
    7. 9. Use of tools on the course <ul><li>General WWW/ </li></ul><ul><li>Google scholar </li></ul><ul><li>- Finding resources for assignments </li></ul>
    8. 10. Use of tools on the course <ul><li>VLE </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on use by tutor </li></ul><ul><li>Downloading handouts </li></ul>
    9. 11. use of tools for informal learning <ul><li>mobile phones </li></ul><ul><li>organising project meetings </li></ul><ul><li>discussing assignments </li></ul><ul><li>- peer support in preparing for exams </li></ul><ul><li>“ no study materials on my phone please” </li></ul>
    10. 12. <ul><li>Instant Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>finding each other on campus </li></ul><ul><li>communicating timetable changes </li></ul><ul><li>arranging to meet </li></ul><ul><li>discussing coursework </li></ul>use of tools for informal learning
    11. 13. <ul><li>Social networking (Bebo, MySpace) </li></ul><ul><li>socialising </li></ul><ul><li>supporting each other </li></ul><ul><li>sharing resources </li></ul><ul><li>organising learning in groups </li></ul><ul><li>mixed socialising and learning </li></ul>use of tools for informal learning
    12. 14. Would you like to use these tools in your courses?
    13. 15. <ul><li>misunderstanding the tool nature </li></ul><ul><li>interdisciplinary differences </li></ul><ul><li>low concern with who provides tools </li></ul>
    14. 16. Part 2: Staff interviews
    15. 17. <ul><li>support communication and interaction </li></ul><ul><li>support flexible learning opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>fit to the prevalent pedagogy of PBL </li></ul>staff’s perceptions: social work
    16. 18. <ul><li>Face2face a strong factor </li></ul><ul><li>Stability and interoperability of tools </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure and mobile devices </li></ul>staff’s perceptions: engineering
    17. 19. <ul><li>VLE the predominant tool </li></ul><ul><li>little experience with Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>enthusiasm for introduction of social tools </li></ul><ul><li>frustration with lack of funding or motivation </li></ul>tools currently used by staff
    18. 20. <ul><li>not all young people are “digital natives” </li></ul><ul><li>pedagogic approach a key factor? </li></ul><ul><li>expectations of learning at university </li></ul><ul><li>(Litteljohn et al, in press) </li></ul>