The Digital Natives Meme. Why context is more important than technology


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Paper given at 8th International JTEFS/BBCC Conference "Sustainable Development. Culture. Education", UNESCO, Paris 17/05/2010

Rising student numbers, greater funding pressure and an increasing consumerisation of education pose dilemmas for educators. Additionally, we are told that technology is going to transform education; that a new breed of young people, who have not known a world without pervasive electronic technology, are entering education; that this will lead to a paradigm shift and those unable or unwilling to make the change will be swept away. However, recent research shows this may not be the case. Using examples from an ongoing study of university students' experiences of using technology, this paper argues that a debate that is framed by thoughts of an army of homogeneous digital natives will produce technology 'solutions' that are unsustainable. It will go on to argue that a more context based approach towards the use of technology is needed in order to provide sustainable solutions to the issues facing educators in the 21st century

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The Digital Natives Meme. Why context is more important than technology

  1. 1. The Digital Natives Meme<br />Why context is more important than technology<br />Chris Hall – Swansea University, UK<br />
  2. 2. meme<br />a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means<br />
  3. 3. Rising student numbers<br />
  4. 4. Increasing funding pressure<br />
  5. 5. “I hope…….that they become pickier, choosier and more demanding consumers of the higher education experience.”<br />
  6. 6. Digital Natives <br />Prensky (2001)<br />
  7. 7. brains<br />Prensky<br />physically changed<br />
  8. 8. change<br />everything<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. ".....just knowing how to use particular technologies makes one no wiser than just knowing how to read words. “<br />White 2009<br />
  11. 11. “[Learners] have little sense of how Web 2.0 technology might be used to support their learning – as opposed to their social lives. This, we note, holds true across the age spectrum.”<br />Luckin et al 2009 <br />
  12. 12. “The key consideration is managing expectation so that students understand and are prepared for what they encounter. The onus for doing this is on the institution.”<br />(Higher EduAcation in a Web 2.0 World 2009)<br />
  13. 13. Not true….<br /> is still there<br />
  14. 14. £62 million<br />900 students<br />
  15. 15. All e-learning is successful….<br />…….. once<br />Prof. Peter Chatterton<br />
  16. 16. Politicians, policy maker senior managers……<br />
  17. 17.
  18. 18. appreciative <br />inquiry<br />
  19. 19. Think about a time when using technology <br />has been really useful in your learning or teaching.<br />What was happening?<br />What were you feeling?<br />What made it useful?<br />What were others doing that contributed? <br />What did you contribute?<br />
  20. 20. So, what have we found?<br />
  21. 21. student<br />experience<br />learning<br />outcomes<br />context<br />support<br />structure<br />staff<br />experience<br />communication<br />
  22. 22. content<br />
  23. 23. context is king<br />