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Is there a Net generation coming to university?

0299 ALTC 2009 Chris Jones and SImon Cross

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The Cloudworks Team
27 August 2009

ALT-C 2009 Session: This Cloud has been set up to aggregate live blogs, comments, discussion and links for this session.

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Chris Jones - quoting Don Tapscott, Prensky etc. on the "They" that are the Net generation. Similar terms such as digital natives, digital immigrants all imply that there is a big generational change - but is this justified?

If there are such changes and opportunities to do something different with technology then we need to understand this. Study this with first year students (both of "net generation" age and older. 5 universities, surveys, interviews, and cutural probes. Reached about 30% of potential maximum in chosen course areas. Cultural probe approach builds on Matthew Riddle's work and used SMS prompts that encouraged response at particular times.

Lots of info from the data - some high users but also some people who never use e.g. email, on the whole students use the things they have to use. Perhaps less student push on technology, though students do use technology more than they feel they have to. Fairly large %age download/stream but still minority (approx 40%). There are some generational differences BUT actually also variation within the generation as well - so actually more complex. Age differences but not really a "generation" and some much talked about technology remains little used. In each case also end up with minorities that need to be addressed.

Q: Missing mention of older people learning from younger peers.

A: Do have data on this - includes learning from kids as well.

Q: More about games

A: Did ask about this as key in books - but not sowing significant so partly a negative result. Less of individual play than expected.

Q: Glasgow University is rerunning Gregor Kennedy's digital native survey. Hope to see trends.

A: Interesting to see whether can see trends as several people have looked at this - Hong Kong, China, South Africa data as well to help see impact and different cases. Personal (Charles Crook - "Learning Nests") v institutional.

Patrick McAndrew
10:45 on 9 September 2009

Thought that I would add a few references to interesting articles on the subject


Clark, W., Logan, K., Luckin, R., Mee, A., & Oliver, M. (2009). Beyond Web 2.0: mapping the technology landscapes of young learners. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25(1), 56-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2008.00305.x.   

BECTA-study "Web 2.0 technologies for learning at KS3 and KS4 - Project overview" - a number of interesting reports


Thomas Ryberg
11:17 on 9 September 2009

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