Introduction ‘This new generation is familiarized with ‘Its members are used to immediacy and media-based languages and feels have an ability to learn by rapidly processing comfortable performing several tasks at parallel and discontinuous information’ (p. once’ (p. 543). 543) ‘Massive access to and use of ICT among the youngest members of the population has led numerous authors to suggest the existence of a generation that has been socialized in a media based world’ (Carstens&Beck, 2005; Montgomery, 1996; Oblinger&Oblinger, 2005; Pedro, 2006; Prensky, 2001; Rideout et al, 2005; Tapscott, 1999) (Sanchez, Salinas, Controversy: Contreras, & Meyer: 2011, p.543) Bennett, Maton and Kervin (2008) based on Tapscott andPrensky: weak empirical substantiation; and emergence of a ‘digital natives’ (Prensky, 2001),new generation does not consider the variety of experiencessubjects have with technology (Bennet et al, 2008; Kennedy, ‘new millennium learners’ (Pedro, 2006), Judd, Churchward&Gray, 2008). ‘the net generation’ (Tapscott, 1999), Discussion: absence of empirical evidence (Cabra- Torres&Marciales-Vivas, 2009); new evidence (Tapscott, ‘the gamer generation’ (Carstens&Beck, 2005) &2009): current generation has changed radically compared ‘generation M’ (Rideout et al, 2005) (p. 543) to previous generations (p. 543-544).
NetGeneration: ‘with its vast experience andfamiliarity with digital technology and its variedassociated practices – central role in the political life ofthe 21st century; digital natives seem to demand moreparticipation and are applying more power through theinternet, supervising the performance of political class,and making its voices heard more directly within thepolitical sphere. In education, they feel more comfortablewith customized, collaborative and interactive learning’(p. 544) ‘This study contributes to the discussion on the current generation of students and their relationship to technology – empirical information obtained in Chilean context’. (p. 544).
Related Work:In Global Context New millennium learners ‘is a term widely used to designate those generations born from the 1980s onwards and who have been raised in a context where digital technologies form an inextricable part of daily life’ (...), in the broadest sense (they) are mediated by these technologies’ (Pedro, 2006, p. 2) (p. 544). Access and use of ICTs is practically universal in the richest European countries (International Telecommunication Union (ITU, 2009b) and in the USA and Canada (ITU, 2009a) (p. 544)
In Chilean Context: In Chile, access to ICTs among the youth is widespread, with a relatively equitable degree of distribution regarding the various socio-economic levels (p. 544). It is still far from the levels of developed countries (ITU, 2009a; PNUD, 2006) (p. 544). To illustrate this, the schools in developed countries have a student to computer ratio of almost 1:10, in Chile the current ratio is 1:26 (Enclases, 2008) (p. 544). In unpublished statistics the ratio will be at 1:10 in Chile by 2010. The school has operated as a point of access to ICTs among the youth, especially in context where there is no other possibility of access (PNUD, 2006; Sanchez & Salinas, 2008) (p. 544).
Related Work cont.. (Traits of New Generation) Cognitive Traits Cognitive Traits Social Traits (Prensky, 2001, p.1) (Pedro, 2009) making use of their time by consuming different media ‘today’s students think and process information fundamentally new millennium learners are used to performing several tasks at simultaneously, especially digital media differently from their predecessors, the same time, (Pedro, 2006; Prensky, 2001; Rideout et al, 2005). increasing in socially isolating activities, a preference for having limited capacity for paying attention at the same thing for rapid-fire communication using a jargon – not easily digital Natives are used to receiving information really fast, understood by older generations a prolonged amount of time, (Pedro, 2006). Net generation prizes freedom of Choice they like to parallel process and multi-task, preferring multimedia to written texts, (Tapscott , 2009) they prefer their graphics before their text rather than the Being able to obtain knowledge by processing discontinuous & they want to customize things opposite, non-linear information, (Tapscott , 2009) they collaborate naturally they prefer random access, (Tapscott , 2009) they enjoy conversations over reading they function best when networked, (Tapscott , 2009) they are interested in scrutinizing organization they thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards, (Tapscott , 2009)s they insist on integrity, they want to have fun at work and they prefer games to ‘serious’ work. at school (Tapscott , 2009) speed and innovation are part of their life (Tapscott , 2009)
Related Work cont... ‘The institution of education appears to be distant from or at conflict with the new generation of students’ (Pedro, 2006) (p. 545). ‘our Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language (that of the pre-digital age), are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language’ (Prensky, 2001 p. 2) (p. 545). The writers’ summary: ‘...the emergence of a new generation is characterized by having lived all its life surrounded by and immersed in digital technology, that is familiar with the use of such technology, and that is developing new practices, values, preferences and interests that are having an influence on institution such as the school’ (p. 545).
Two Hypotheses of the Study: ‘Experience with ICT in Chile is socially distributed in such a way that the traits of a digital native generation are only specific to certain social groups or niches, in which this digital experience is distinct from the rest of the peers’. It has to do with cultural practices associated with specific groups, and not traits that are shared by an entire generation (p. 545). ‘For the groups that make more sophisticated use of technology, the practices associated with ICTs will not imply certain skills described in the literature as different and distinctive from those present in previous generations’ (p. 545).
Methodology The study is of an exploratory and descriptive nature, qualitative perspective with grounded theory design. It seeks to critically analyze the emergence or not, of a generation with cognitive and social traits described by Tapscott, Prensky, and Pedro It was sough to: -identify how the traits of the new generation of students are expressed in their opinions and their perceptions of their own actions, based on the in-school experiences of the subjects; -understand the role of the traits played in the development of relations between the students, the educational institution and their teachers (p. 545).
Sample Using a theoretical sampling method, selecting sample based on the criteria of diversity (gender, socio-economic level) and utilizing a critical saturation point. ‘Chilean society in general and the educational system in particular, is strongly differentiated by class’ (p. 545). ‘Chile is one of the most unequal societies in both Latin America and the world’ (World Bank, 2009) (p. 546).
Instruments Using semi-structured interviews to allow respondents to speak freely Each interview lasted 45-50 on each issue (Selltiz, minutes. Jahoda, Deutsch, & Cook, 1959; Taylor & Bogdam, 1998) (p. 546). All interviews were Interviews were held for 4 recorded. months Interviews were held in environments – appropriate for generating a climate of trust with the subjects on familiar grounds – schools (Taylor & Bogdam, 1998) (p. 546)
Procedure Creating the interview guidelines Teachers were Compiling a list of selected from the schools by using the same schools – socio-economic level diversity, including of the families that the subjects they attended each school. taught. Schools were contacted to obtain Student participants their approval and were selected based confirm their on gender balance. participation in the study (p. 546-548)
Results of the StudyPerceptions of practices using ICT, school and Perceptions of use and communications media and meaning of ICT perceptions of study other digital technologies practices A variety of practices using Computers and Internet – a large part of the Relationship: Students – school: technology – traditional, audiovisual students’ everyday activities in their work, ambivalent media (TV, radio) with new media and at school, in socialization and parties, in the technologies (Internet, IPOD, video search for information and in their personal Boring but necessary for life and games, cell phones). interests. their future TV, cell phone, computer – most ‘Direct contact with their friends School – develop friendships present in everyday lives of is irreplaceable’ – ICT is (space for interaction with students. complementary in socialization friends and classmates) When using computer – several In terms of doing homework: During school week – use software screens open at the same Students look for corresponding computer for few minutes or time, but do not mean the students pay equal attention to all these information on the Internet hours different activities at the same time. through copy & paste. On weekends or during vacations No significant differences – time spent on the computer between boys and girls in the increase considerably, some spent all day playing video games or on frequency of use or general Facebook. access to ICT. The preference: Male friends – actions or combat games; Girls – chatting, Facebook, fotolog, logic or card games
Results of the Study cont... ‘Teachers describe this copy and paste mode of work as harmful to development of skills in the use of information. This indicates a failure of the students’ abilities to process information’ (p. 552). Such practices diminished level of other fundamental skills such as imagination, the ability to concentrate on one task and a reduction in the quality of research assignments (p. 552). The ability to communicate with other people from different cultures, access to an enormous amount of information, multimedia and its contribution to different learning styles, and the possibility to collect and process information (benefit) (553).
Discussions1. In your context, how will you do or have you done to your students to cope with their ‘copy and paste’ mode in their assignments?2. In your context, how will you do or have you done to eliminate the distance/conflict between school and students in terms of using ICTs for students’ learning?
Conclusions ‘Sociability with a strong value placed on face-to-face contact situates electronic communication as a complement and prolongation of the possibilities for sociability’ (p. 555) There is a clear preference for computer or special console games between boys and girls. Video games – male students, male family friends, friends of some of female students (p. 554) A wide-range of ICT experience by the youth in Chilean context is ‘not so much based on socio-economic level, as it is to gender for some specific developed countries, where idea of new learners has emerged’ (p. 555). ‘Sophisticated attention management practices are expressed (by the students) rather than a specific capacity to be able to process information simultaneously’ (p. 555).
ReferencesSanchez, J., Salinas, A., Contreras, D., & Meyer, E. (2011). Does the new digital generation of learners exist?: A qualitative study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(4), 543-556. doi:10.1111/j.1467- 8535.2010.01069.x