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Symposium 3: Networked learning, the Net Generation and Digital Natives

Networked learning, the Net Generation and Digital Natives Symposium Organiser: Chris Jones, The...

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Giota Alevizou
4 May 2010

Networked learning, the Net Generation and Digital Natives

Symposium Organiser: Chris Jones, The Open University, United Kingdom

Diversity in interactive media use among Dutch youth

Antoine van den Beemt, Fontys, University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

Sanne Akkerman, P. Robert-Jan Simons, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Learning and Living Technologies: A Longitudinal Study of First-Year Students’ Expectations and Experiences in the Use of ICT

Ruslan Ramanau, Anesa Hosein, Chris Jones,The Open University, United Kingdom

Learning nests and local habitations: Locations for networked learning

Chris Jones and Graham Healing, The Open University, United Kingdom

Digital natives: Everyday life versus academic study

Linda Corrin, Sue Bennett, Lori Lockyer, University of Wollongong, Australia

Supporting the “Digital Natives”: what is the role of schools?

Rebecca Eynon, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Born into the Digital Age in the South of Africa: the reconfiguration of the “digital citizen”

Laura Czerniewicz, Cheryl Brown, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Extra content

Live blogging - so mind the typos/mistakes (they will be edited)

Chris Jones: Introduction

Net gen rhetoric still prevails - albeit its techno-determinism - because of itheir anecdotal power. Un-substantiated claims that exposure to digitial techs influences brain plasticity in young people also popular.

Generation: nationally-specific generation arguments...but the popular net gen argument originates from the US and is based on a cyclical historicity.

Natives-immigrants: fit it in to neo-liberal and marketisation arguments (Bayne and Ross 2007);

Academic moral panic (Sue Benett et al, 2007): open up debate in relation to the discourse.

All the papers in the session - offer national perspectives  and emphasise choice, not necessity; there are age-related changes in technology, but not a generational shift.

Giota Alevizou
06:16 on 4 May 2010

Diversity in interactive media use among Dutch youth

Antoine van den Beemt, Fontys, University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands Sanne Akkerman, P. Robert-Jan Simons, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

 

Social space and cultural space: motives for IM use; social function and cultural function (Ito et al, 2008): peer driven participation or content driven and interest driven.

 

Perspectives; motivations and motives à in informal education à role of formal education in the use of media

 

Pilot study – cluster analysis; national survey – cluster analysis; qualitative study; focus use of social networking and interactive media including games à focus on games;

 

Antoine points out the high density of computer use and bandwidth in the Netherlands that do not allow generalization in an international level

 

Results

  • Activities:
  • Browsing & interacting
  • Performing
  • Interchanging
  • Authoring (SS) content generation

 

Metaphorical names rather than networking; in a couple of years time different applications will replace names, but activities more or leass the same.

 

 

Methodological notes: He used mood boards in the qualitative study to probe the interviews

 

Types of users:

  • Traditionalists
  • Gamers
  • Networkers
  • Producers

 

Networkers and the traditionalists make up the largest part; the hard core gamers and producers small percentage (a total of 10%).

 

All groups engage in browsing, but the producers engage with all applications.

 

Diversity in participation; only a few young people /students are active gamers. Not self-evident that young people’s learning improves with the use of new media. Caution in the application of new media as a learning tool.

 

Q. what is the learning measurement?

 

Q. did not impose categories in the data;  Applications: all the interactive media applications at the time in the Netherlands (around 30 applications).

Giota Alevizou
08:55 on 4 May 2010

Born into the Digital Age in the South of Africa: the reconfiguration of the “digital citizen”

Laura Czerniewicz, Cheryl Brown, University of Cape Town, South Africa

 

live blogging notes from earlier - mind typos :)

HE in South Africa still for the elites

Problem with the discourse of natives especially (colonial connotations)

Surveys and cluster analysis

Some findings:

Homogeneity cannot be assumed in terms of computer experience: there are students with low, medium and high levels of computer experience in all age groupings

-digital native’ = digital elite in the South African context

- digital stranger’ a concern: little exposure, no access before university and relying on formal channels; computer literacy

cell phones ubiquitous and not socially differentiated; main type of internet access for low socio-economic groups was through phone; relatively cheap and high levels of adoption across the board

<mobiles and learning

users from the digital strangers group were using the mobile phone for academic purposes.

What does this mean?

The social world a space with intersecting capitals, habitus and fields… (following Bourdieu)

Capitals:

embodied; skills competences and knowledge, representation of self-image

objectified

and institutional capital

Giota Alevizou
09:00 on 4 May 2010

Embedded Content

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Giota Alevizou
8:57am 4 May 2010 (Edited 8:58am 4 May 2010)


Learning and Living Technologies: A Longitudinal Study of First-Year Students’ Expectations and Experiences in the Use of ICT

Ruslan Ramanau, Anesa Hosein, Chris Jones, The Open University, United Kingdom

Ruslan talking about the comparative study carried out by the ESRC funded project.

  • Different types of universities and disciplines
  • Variety of data collection methods
    • Descriptive survey
    • Longitudinal survey (expectations and experiences)
  • Differences in expectations translate in differences in experiences
  • Social networking and recreational users of ICTs are an impornat part of uni experiences and creates a certain kind of social milieu for young students
  • Students in a distance university used ICTs less for than students in place-based universities
  • Part of the differences in the study use might have to do with work load
  • The differences in social context

 

Conclusions

  • Limitations: students self-report bias (the tend to overemphasize computer use)
  • More in-depth qualitative research and analysis
  • (computers and education)
  • international journal of technology, knowledge and society

Giota Alevizou
9:02am 4 May 2010 (Edited 8:46am 6 May 2010)


Questions and comments from first part of the symposium.

Q.  Consider questions around the purpose, and nature of activity, rather than differentiating in terms of ICTs for leisure and study.

Methodological challenge and question: how do you gain access for observational methods at a research study?  How do gain access by observations rather than imposing categories….challenge when many activities are online and throughout a day...observing virtually and in virtual worlds. A delegate mentioned 'collaborative ethnographies' a form of action research.

 Multitasking and moving across categories and tasks

 Blurring of boundaries in activities/identities

 Q. how do people manage the multitasking, the moving around channels and technologies? Relates to risks and opportunities? What are the individual and the peer preferences? What does exposure mean? How do they respond to the discourse on value of the information society?

How about traditional media? How about reflection and the types of knowledge and reading practices or literacies? How do people switch from activity to activity and how do we trace what they learn?

Giota Alevizou
9:07am 6 May 2010


Some questions from the second part of the discussion and following papers regarding the 'locations' and the boundaries of networked learning and identities:

Q: How to trace networked individuals in institutional contexts

Notion of learning as social; Is the university experience  social? university experience is alienating? My reflection based on Selywn's work on faceworking (via facebook) amongst university students: how do we account for the subversive reflections of the university experience? How do students negotiate their agency and active reception of the curriculum? 

 

Q. Collectivity versus individuals and peer learning;

Kinds of learning and information learning sharing? Different kind of ethos in different activities? What is the informal? Does it tell us about the formal? Learning ecologies that are developing?

Rebecca: artificial distinctions between the home and school/university …as if you are talking about different people; it’s a matter of articulation: this raises methodological questions as well: How do people perceive themselves in relation to others and across spaces? Peer pressure and culture about certain uses?

Giota Alevizou
10:17am 6 May 2010


I feel like I am debating with myself here, but I couldn't help but adding a reference to a special issue that offers additional perspectives (at least in an Ango-American context) regarding the use of web 2.0 for (in)formal learning activities. Neil Selwyn and Lyndsay Grant brought together an excellent collection of papers in Learning and Social Software , in the Learning, Media and Technology Journal. In the podcast that accompanies the special issue, Neil talks about exposing the 'gritty reality' of social software, by 'priviledging robust empirical studies' into the likes of wikis and social networking tools in formal learning contexts. He calls for a serious debate on these issues, as a means to move away from the 'hype' and presumptions of Web 2.0 toward a more critical perspective. Many of the contributions in the special issue touch upon the hype of the net-gen, while pointing to questions that were raised in the symposium.

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