Are digital natives a myth or a reality?

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Information about Are digital natives a myth or a reality?
Education

Published on June 25, 2009

Author: anoush

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Presentation at the Caledonian Academy Research Seminar

are digital natives a myth or reality? students’ use of technologies for learning Anoush Margaryan and Kathy Trinder

nature and extent of students’ use of technologies in formal, informal learning and socialising nature and extent of staff’s use of technologies in teaching students’ and staff’s views on educational value of technologies student’s and staff’s views on barriers to integration of technologies within education (published) examples of innovative use of technologies recommendations for integration of technologies to support learning

 

“ fluency in multiple media and in simulation-based virtual settings”; “communal learning involving diverse, tacit, situated experience, with knowledge distributed across a community and a context as well as within an individual”; “expression through nonlinear, associational webs of representations” “co-design of learning experiences personalized to individual needs and preferences” (Dede, 2005)

“ rather than being empirically and theoretically informed, the debate can be likened to an academic form of a ‘moral panic ’. “ the picture beginning to emerge from research on young people’s relationships with technology is much more complex than the digital native characterisation suggests. While technology is embedded in their lives, young people’s use and skills are not uniform. There is no evidence of widespread and universal disaffection, or of a distinctly different learning style the like of which has never been seen before. ” (Bennett et al, 2008)

Conole, G., de Laat, M., Dillon, T., & Darby, J. (2006). Sample: Undergraduate students (UK) Method: survey (n=427), audiolog (n=85), interviews (n=14) Findings: Students are using the technologies in a “pervasive”, “integrated”, “personalised”, “social” and “interactive” way “ Students are appropriating technologies to meet their individual needs, mixing general ICT tools and resources with official course or institutional tools and resources” Students are developing “new forms of evaluation skills and strategies (searching, restructuring, validating) which enable them to critique and make decisions about a variety of sources and content” “ the use of these tools is changing the way they gather, use and create knowledge … shifting from lower to higher regions of Bloom’s taxonomy… to make sense of their complex technologically enriched learning environment” However, the students are also “frustrated…because of the misuse or lack of use of the tools” within universities.

Conole, G., de Laat, M., Dillon, T., & Darby, J. (2006).

Sample: Undergraduate students (UK)

Method: survey (n=427), audiolog (n=85), interviews (n=14)

Findings:

Students are using the technologies in a “pervasive”, “integrated”, “personalised”, “social” and “interactive” way

“ Students are appropriating technologies to meet their individual needs, mixing general ICT tools and resources with official course or institutional tools and resources”

Students are developing “new forms of evaluation skills and strategies (searching, restructuring, validating) which enable them to critique and make decisions about a variety of sources and content”

“ the use of these tools is changing the way they gather, use and create knowledge … shifting from lower to higher regions of Bloom’s taxonomy… to make sense of their complex technologically enriched learning environment”

However, the students are also “frustrated…because of the misuse or lack of use of the tools” within universities.

Ramney (2007) Sample: Undergraduate students (US) Method: survey (n=1,232) Self-assesement on 7 key characteristics of the “Millennial Generation” postulated by Howe and Strauss (2003) Findings: Special Sheltered Confident Team-oriented Conventional Pressured Achieving

Bullen et al (2008) Sample: Undergraduate students (Canada) Method: semi-structured interviews (n=69) Findings: students do not posses “a deep knowledge of technology , but have a good understanding of what it can or cannot do for them”; they “ use a limited toolkit (Facebook, MSN, email, mobile phones)”; “ outside of class students seek access to practical solutions to their course-related issues and ICTs are often not the most practical solutions”; and “ students use of ICT is not elated to their age ”.

Bullen et al (2008)

Sample: Undergraduate students (Canada)

Method: semi-structured interviews (n=69)

Findings:

students do not posses “a deep knowledge of technology , but have a good understanding of what it can or cannot do for them”;

they “ use a limited toolkit (Facebook, MSN, email, mobile phones)”;

“ outside of class students seek access to practical solutions to their course-related issues and ICTs are often not the most practical solutions”; and

“ students use of ICT is not elated to their age ”.

Kvavik (2005) Sample: Undergraduate students (US) Method: survey (n=4374) Findings: “ students have basic office suite skills and can use email and surf the Internet with ease but moving beyond basic activities is problematic; it appears they do not recognize the enhanced functionality of the applications they own and use. “ “ they only have a moderate preference for the use of technology in their classes ”; “ there is a need for "significant further training in the use of information technology in support of learning and problem-solving skills.” "students appear to be slower in developing adequate skills in using information technology in support of their academic activities ”

Kvavik (2005)

Sample: Undergraduate students (US)

Method: survey (n=4374)

Findings:

“ students have basic office suite skills and can use email and surf the Internet with ease but moving beyond basic activities is problematic; it appears they do not recognize the enhanced functionality of the applications they own and use. “

“ they only have a moderate preference for the use of technology in their classes ”;

“ there is a need for "significant further training in the use of information technology in support of learning and problem-solving skills.”

"students appear to be slower in developing adequate skills in using information technology in support of their academic activities ”

Kennedy et al (2007) Sample: Undergraduate students (Australia) Method: survey (n=2588), interviews/focus groups (n=46) Findings: - students “were nowhere near as frequent users of new technologies as some commentators have been suggesting”. “ established applications such as searching for information on the web, email, mobile telephony and SMS messaging” were used very frequently while “ newer technologies, such as blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking tools that allow students to share, collaborate, produce and publish material online are used by a relatively small proportion of students ”.

Kennedy et al (2007)

Sample: Undergraduate students (Australia)

Method: survey (n=2588), interviews/focus groups (n=46)

Findings:

- students “were nowhere near as frequent users of new technologies as some commentators have been suggesting”.

“ established applications such as searching for information on the web, email, mobile telephony and SMS messaging” were used very frequently while

“ newer technologies, such as blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking tools that allow students to share, collaborate, produce and publish material online are used by a relatively small proportion of students ”.

Sandars et al (2008) Sample: Undergraduate students (country not specified) Method: survey (n=212) Findings: high levels of use of instant messaging (90%) and social networking sites (70 %). Conversely, low levels of use of blogs: 20% read blogs, while only 5% wrote their own blogs. Low levels of use of resource sharing and contribution to wikis Social bookmarking was rarely used.

Sandars et al (2008)

Sample: Undergraduate students (country not specified)

Method: survey (n=212)

Findings:

high levels of use of instant messaging (90%) and social networking sites (70 %).

Conversely, low levels of use of blogs: 20% read blogs, while only 5% wrote their own blogs.

Low levels of use of resource sharing and contribution to wikis

Social bookmarking was rarely used.

Ebner et al (2008) Sample: Undergraduate students (Austria and Switzerland) Method: survey (n=1149) Findings: students’ high familiarity with and use of Wikipedia, You Tube and MySpace l ow familiarity with and use of social bookmarking, podcasts, (micro-)blogging and virtual worlds . most of the frequently used technologies such as Wikipedia are used only for passive consumption of information . when students where asked what form of elearning was the most important for them, the majority of students emphasised the possibility to download lecture notes; - opportunities for communication and discussion were unimportant for the majority of the students.

Ebner et al (2008)

Sample: Undergraduate students (Austria and Switzerland)

Method: survey (n=1149)

Findings:

students’ high familiarity with and use of Wikipedia, You Tube and MySpace

l ow familiarity with and use of social bookmarking, podcasts, (micro-)blogging and virtual worlds .

most of the frequently used technologies such as Wikipedia are used only for passive consumption of information .

when students where asked what form of elearning was the most important for them, the majority of students emphasised the

possibility to download lecture notes;

- opportunities for communication and discussion were unimportant for the majority of the students.

Year 3 Engineering and Social Work students Staff (lecturers and support) Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde Universities Questionnaire survey n=160 (130/30, 80/80) Interviews: students (n=8), staff (n=8) Data collection: Jan-May 2007

Part 1: students’ views: survey

 

 

Total sample: Mean=23 yrs, SD = 6.32, n=157 Mean=21, SD=2.4, n=127 Mean=33, SD=8.7, n=30

Subject Digital natives Digital immigrants Engineering (n=127) 125 (98.4%) 2 (1.6%) Social Work (n=30) 9 (30%) 21 (70%) TOTAL 134 (85.4%) 23 (14.6%)

 

 

Tool Eng (n=130*) SW (n=30) n p Course sites in VLE 119 (93.7%) 17 (56.7%) 157 <0.001 Discussion Groups in VLE 57 (43.8%) 10 (26.7%) 160 >0.05 Virtual Chat in VLE 28 (21.5%) 5 (16.7%) 160 >0.05 Video Conferencing 7 (5.4%) - 159 >0.05 A Online assessments 69 (53.9%) 3 (10%) 158 <0.001 Mp3 46 (35.4%) 5 (16.7%) 160 0.047 Digital Camera 62 (47.7%) 5 (16.7%) 160 0.002 Handheld Computer 16 (12.3%) - 160 0.044 A Mobile Phone 71 (54.6%) 14 (46.7%) 160 >0.05 Podcasts 18 (13.8%) 2 (6.7%) 160 >0.05 A Websites 122 (93.8%) 27 (90%) 160 >0.05 A Google 120 (92.3%) 26 (86.7%) 160 >0.05 A Wikipedia 109 (83.8%) 14 (46.7%) 160 <0.001 Simulations/Games 50 (38.5%) 1 (3.3%) 160 <0.001 A Message Boards 68 (53.1%) 10 (33.3%) 158 0.051 Text Messaging 77 (59.2%) 16 (53.3%) 160 >0.05 MySpace 29 (22.3%) 3 (10%) 160 >0.05 A Blog 21 (16.1%) 2 (6.7%) 160 >0.05 A YouTube 64 (49.2%) 2 (6.7%) 160 <0.001 A

Tool Eng(n=126) SW(n=30) n P Natives(n=130*) Immigrants (n=23) n p MySpace/Bebo 28 (22.2%) 2 (6.7%) 156 >0.05 A 28 (21.7%) 1 (4.3%) 153 >0.05 A Digital Camera 52 (41.3%) 6 (20%) 156 0.030 51 (39.5%) 5 (21.7%) 153 >0.05 Pcs/Macs 76 (60.3%) 16 (53.3%) 156 >0.05 77 (59.7%) 12 (52.2%) 153 >0.05 Blogs 29 (23.0%) 1 (3.3%) 156 0.010 A 27 (20.8%) 2 (8.7%) 153 >0.05 A Message Boards 56 (44.4%) 10 (33.3%) 155 >0.05 57 (44.2%) 8 (34.8%) 152 >0.05 Mobile Phone 86 (68.2%) 22 (73.3%) 156 >0.05 89 (68.5%) 18 (78.3%) 153 >0.05 Virtual Worlds 11 (8.7%) 1 (3.3%) 156 >0.05 A 11 (8.5%) 1 (4.3%) 153 >0.05 A Video/Audio Clips 77 (61.1%) 6 (20%) 156 <0.001 74 (56.6%) 7 (30.4%) 153 0.019 Course Websites 101 (80.1%) 23 (76.7%) 156 >0.05 105 (80.8%) 17 (73.9%) 153 >0.05 Internet Websites 109 (86.5%) 25 (83.3%) 156 >0.05 114 (87.7%) 18 (78.3%) 153 >0.05 Podcasts 18 (14.3%) 1 (3.3%) 156 >0.05 A 16 (12.3%) 2 (8.7%) 153 >0.05 A MP3 player 51 (40.5%) 7 (23.3%) 156 >0.05 52 (40.0%) 4 (17.4%) 153 >0.05 A Wikipedia 102 (80.9%) 11 (36.7%) 155 <0.001 102 (79.1%) 9 (39.1%) 152 <0.001 Simulations 34 (27.0%) 3 (10%) 156 >0.05 A 35 (27.1%) 2 (8.7%) 153 >0.05 A Handheld Computer 19 (15.1%) 1 (3.3%) 156 >0.05 A 20 (15.5%) - 153 0.045 A Text Messaging 87 (69.0%) 18 (60%) 156 >0.05 88 (67.4%) 16 (69.6%) 153 >0.05 Instant Chat 63 (50%) 6 (20%) 156 0.003 63 (48.5%) 4 (17.4%) 153 0.006 A YouTube 47 (37.3%) 3 (10%) 156 0.004 A 45 (34.9%) 4 (17.4%) 153 >0.05 A Google/ Scholar 99 (78.6%) 19 (63.3%) 156 >0.05 97 (75.2%) 18 (78.3%) 153 >0.05

Tools Eng (n=129) SW (n=30) p “ Natives” (n=133) “ Immigrants” (n=23) p Music 128 (99.2%) 21 (70.0%) <0.001 A 131 (98.5%) 15 (65.2%) <0.001 A Photo sharing 97 (75.2%) 14 (46.7%) 0.002 101 (75.9%) 7 (30.4%) <0.001 Video sharing 89 (69.0%) 10 (33.3%) <0.001 91 (68.4%) 5 (21.7%) <0.001 Blogging 63 (48.8%) 5 (16.7%) 0.001 62 (46.6%) 3 (13.0%) 0.003 A Social Networking 96 (74.4%) 10 (33.3%) <0.001 97 (72.9%) 6 (26.1%) <0.001 File Sharing 86 (66.7%) 12 (40.0%) 0.007 86 (64.7%) 9 (39.1%) 0.021 Discussion groups 43 (33.3%) 8 (26.7%) >0.05 44 (32.4%) 5 (21.7%) >0.05 Chat Rooms 31 (24.0%) 6 (20.0%) >0.05 32 (23.5%) 4 (17.4%) >0.05 A Wikis 106 (82.2%) 16 (53.3%) 0.001 105 (78.9%) 14 (60.9%) >0.05 Virtual Worlds 12 (9.3%) 3 (10.0%) >0.05 A 13 (9.8%) 2 (8.7%) >0.05 A Internet Gaming 60 (46.5%) 7 (23.3%) 0.021 61 (44.9%) 4 (17.4%) 0.012 A

Part 2: student interviews

Technologies for learning on course (1) VLE (BB) Clydetown Specialist engineering tools VLE used as a content repository – and all interviewees were happy about this No concern over lack of use of communication and collaboration functionalities

VLE (BB)

Clydetown

Specialist engineering tools

VLE used as a content repository – and all interviewees were happy about this

No concern over lack of use of communication and collaboration functionalities

Technologies for learning on course (2) “ [the lecturer] must have went [sic] on WebCT religiously every single night to answer people’s questions, but I think that’s the standard we all thought everybody else would follow” (Cathy, Eng) “ marks for coursework, that’s one of the strange things. Some of the modules put them up and other modules put them up in a sort of announcement and link to a text file with all the results and then others put it in a section that’s supposed to be for marks... If they all did the same thing that would be much more useful” (Gordon, Eng).

“ [the lecturer] must have went [sic] on WebCT religiously every single night to answer people’s questions, but I think that’s the standard we all thought everybody else would follow” (Cathy, Eng)

“ marks for coursework, that’s one of the strange things. Some of the modules put them up and other modules put them up in a sort of announcement and link to a text file with all the results and then others put it in a section that’s supposed to be for marks... If they all did the same thing that would be much more useful” (Gordon, Eng).

Technologies for learning on course (3) “ the lecture slides are never good enough on their own to learn from, they are just meant to jog your memory and write notes next to, but [the lecturer] just reads out what’s on the slides and she doesn’t expand on it. Some of the things the lecturers do I’m kind of like well that’s just a cop out, that’s just because they can’t be bothered teaching us” (Gordon, Eng). “ I am paying my student fees and so I notice when I am not getting something that I should be getting in terms of being taught something. [Lecturer] missed a lecture and didn’t make up for it in the end and put in [in VLE] a lecture slide saying ‘for this part of the course read that chapter, that’ll do’. Other times instead of teaching us he got somebody to come and talk to us and I was like that’s very nice but he should be teaching us the course first you know.” (David, Eng)

“ the lecture slides are never good enough on their own to learn from, they are just meant to jog your memory and write notes next to, but [the lecturer] just reads out what’s on the slides and she doesn’t expand on it. Some of the things the lecturers do I’m kind of like well that’s just a cop out, that’s just because they can’t be bothered teaching us” (Gordon, Eng).

“ I am paying my student fees and so I notice when I am not getting something that I should be getting in terms of being taught something. [Lecturer] missed a lecture and didn’t make up for it in the end and put in [in VLE] a lecture slide saying ‘for this part of the course read that chapter, that’ll do’. Other times instead of teaching us he got somebody to come and talk to us and I was like that’s very nice but he should be teaching us the course first you know.” (David, Eng)

Personal/public techs for learning (1) Never heard of Google Scholar (n=2) Not familiar with Wikipedia (n=2) Don’t know what a podcast is (n=2) Don’t know what a blog is/never read or written a blog (n=5)

Never heard of Google Scholar (n=2)

Not familiar with Wikipedia (n=2)

Don’t know what a podcast is (n=2)

Don’t know what a blog is/never read or written a blog (n=5)

Personal/public techs for learning (2) Mobile phones and IM – course related communication with peers Text messaging rather than voice calling Preference for IM but not universal “ I never use forums [sic] because sometimes you just go on and it’s like months old and they just stay up there forever and nobody visits them.” (Gordon, Eng) “ I use on occasion MSN messenger as well but not very often, it tends to eat away at your time ... So if I wanted to contact somebody I would e-mail them or phone them” (David, Eng)

Mobile phones and IM – course related communication with peers

Text messaging rather than voice calling

Preference for IM but not universal

“ I never use forums [sic] because sometimes you just go on and it’s like months old and they just stay up there forever and nobody visits them.” (Gordon, Eng)

“ I use on occasion MSN messenger as well but not very often, it tends to eat away at your time ... So if I wanted to contact somebody I would e-mail them or phone them” (David, Eng)

Personal/public techs for learning (3) Preferences for different forms of communication may be governed by familiarity with tools ” Rather than me just going off and learning it on my own, something maybe involvements from course tutor setting it up. I’m not a great explorer to say well I’ll try this, I’ll try that. I will try it if it’s part of my learning, that’s not to say I’m not open to new experiences. ” (Harry, SW)

Preferences for different forms of communication may be governed by familiarity with tools

” Rather than me just going off and learning it on my own, something maybe involvements from course tutor setting it up. I’m not a great explorer to say well I’ll try this, I’ll try that. I will try it if it’s part of my learning, that’s not to say I’m not open to new experiences. ” (Harry, SW)

Personal/public techs for learning (4) Wikipedia “ I usually use just Google and Wikipedia if I want to find a definition of something. I’m not always convinced about the authenticity of Wikipedia because I think people can post things up there without them being fully verified and so I usually check more than one [source] so that’s why I use Google because I try and find more than one source. ”

Wikipedia

“ I usually use just Google and Wikipedia if I want to find a definition of something. I’m not always convinced about the authenticity of Wikipedia because I think people can post things up there without them being fully verified and so I usually check more than one [source] so that’s why I use Google because I try and find more than one source. ”

Personal/public techs for learning (5) SNS and blogs “ just never thought of using them ” (Alen, Eng) “ slow taking up technology” and didn’t consider blogs academically useful (Harry, SW) “ It seems kind of bizarre to me that so many different people want to say what they did during the day and there’s so many people want to read it... I’ve never really read any [blogs] so I’m probably shooting in the dark here.” (Cathy, Eng)

SNS and blogs

“ just never thought of using them ” (Alen, Eng)

“ slow taking up technology” and didn’t consider blogs academically useful (Harry, SW)

“ It seems kind of bizarre to me that so many different people want to say what they did during the day and there’s so many people want to read it... I’ve never really read any [blogs] so I’m probably shooting in the dark here.” (Cathy, Eng)

recreational use of tools iTunes, YouTube other file sharing tools used for consumption of resources SNS used to keep in touch with friends and classmates Typical adoption pattern through peer pressure : “ One person would join it and they would convince few people and they would all convince a few people and they just all seemed to have got round”. 4/8 use SNS – “just don’t like it all”, “don’t like posting stuff about myself” , “want to protect my sanity”

iTunes, YouTube other file sharing tools used for consumption of resources

SNS used to keep in touch with friends and classmates

Typical adoption pattern through peer pressure :

“ One person would join it and they would convince few people and they would all convince a few people and they just all seemed to have got round”.

4/8 use SNS – “just don’t like it all”, “don’t like posting stuff about myself” , “want to protect my sanity”

educational affordance of tools Students look to lecturers for cues “ If [lecturers] found a way for everyone to use them then it would be quite good” “ If they taught us a bit about it before just saying go and do it”. Many tools are viewed as for socialising only and “non-academic” “ I might be wrong, but just from what I see, no that’s fun and games. And computer is not for that for me. I am too busy studying and I am an academic”. Ideas on technology use mainly focused around content dissemination and consumption (eg making podcasts of lecture)

Students look to lecturers for cues

“ If [lecturers] found a way for everyone to use them then it would be quite good”

“ If they taught us a bit about it before just saying go and do it”.

Many tools are viewed as for socialising only and “non-academic”

“ I might be wrong, but just from what I see, no that’s fun and games. And computer is not for that for me. I am too busy studying and I am an academic”.

Ideas on technology use mainly focused around content dissemination and consumption (eg making podcasts of lecture)

affordance of tools: collaboration Collaborative forms of learning (and tools) viewed less beneficial than lectures “ I am not really bothered by what other groups are doing. I know what my group is doing and sometimes I think something else might be quite conflicting or put us off course… we work with case studies so we might take a different approach to it than the other group and for everybody to share their knowledge might cause confusion or make it harder”.

Collaborative forms of learning (and tools) viewed less beneficial than lectures

“ I am not really bothered by what other groups are doing. I know what my group is doing and sometimes I think something else might be quite conflicting or put us off course… we work with case studies so we might take a different approach to it than the other group and for everybody to share their knowledge might cause confusion or make it harder”.

affordance of tools: social software poor understanding of the nature and the affordance of technologies due to either lack of experience with these tools or using them in a limited way for a limited number of tasks “ the chances are that the things we’d be doing would have been already explained in whatever notes we are getting and I could maybe see a reason to do that if we were breaking new ground and wanting to keep other people informed, but if the notes are there why not use the notes rather than trying to write our own notes”. “ I hadn’t thought of that…it might be useful to go through the process and to keep a log of it or to keep updating. I suppose it could be used like that, it would make it a lot easier when we write the report later on”.

poor understanding of the nature and the affordance of technologies due to either lack of experience with these tools or using them in a limited way for a limited number of tasks

“ the chances are that the things we’d be doing would have been already explained in whatever notes we are getting and I could maybe see a reason to do that if we were breaking new ground and wanting to keep other people informed, but if the notes are there why not use the notes rather than trying to write our own notes”.

“ I hadn’t thought of that…it might be useful to go through the process and to keep a log of it or to keep updating. I suppose it could be used like that, it would make it a lot easier when we write the report later on”.

barriers to use of tools in education Students’ lack of digital literacy “ people in the class aren’t really up to speed as they should be in Blackboard. Some people are still wary of new technology, but it’s quite surprising sometimes it’s young people” (Harry, SW) Lecturers’ poor ICT skills “ Some of them look really kind of confused by certain things, even like overhead projectors and stuff like that. We’ve had lectures where the guy can’t figure out how to bring down the whiteboard or can’t figure how to get the projector to turn, they totally choke on it”. (Gordon, Eng) “ I think it’s even harder for people who have been doing it for a long time, to get into it as well. Either they just get scared of it or the just don’t understand, then they think of just forget about it”. (Gordon, Eng) Lecturers’ engagement in teaching vs research

Students’ lack of digital literacy

“ people in the class aren’t really up to speed as they should be in Blackboard. Some people are still wary of new technology, but it’s quite surprising sometimes it’s young people” (Harry, SW)

Lecturers’ poor ICT skills

“ Some of them look really kind of confused by certain things, even like overhead projectors and stuff like that. We’ve had lectures where the guy can’t figure out how to bring down the whiteboard or can’t figure how to get the projector to turn, they totally choke on it”. (Gordon, Eng)

“ I think it’s even harder for people who have been doing it for a long time, to get into it as well. Either they just get scared of it or the just don’t understand, then they think of just forget about it”. (Gordon, Eng)

Lecturers’ engagement in teaching vs research

Part 3: Staff interviews

tools used in teaching VLE as a repository Clydetown (social work GCU) Learning Exchange repository for social work Self-assessment multiple-choice testing systems (Strathclyde Eng) Clicker systems

VLE as a repository

Clydetown (social work GCU)

Learning Exchange repository for social work

Self-assessment multiple-choice testing systems (Strathclyde Eng)

Clicker systems

views on Web 2.0 tools (1) Social technologies viewed as transient and not worth integrating into teaching (Eng lecturers) “ In five years time the next generation of students will have their own little fad, they won’t want this year’s students’ fads…there is no point in saying let’s build MySpace in or blogging because it’ll be some other fad”. Negative feedback from students (Eng) “ I have showed [sic] a group of students Second Life. After we had all stopped laughing and we used it for weeks, and these are techy engineering types, they just said no and we don’t ever want to use that again. My experiment just showed that it’s [Second Life] is not just for the techy types, it’s for the ultra geeks who’ve got the time to put beards and hairstyles on and fly around the landscape”. Lack of first-hand experience

Social technologies viewed as transient and not worth integrating into teaching (Eng lecturers)

“ In five years time the next generation of students will have their own little fad, they won’t want this year’s students’ fads…there is no point in saying let’s build MySpace in or blogging because it’ll be some other fad”.

Negative feedback from students (Eng)

“ I have showed [sic] a group of students Second Life. After we had all stopped laughing and we used it for weeks, and these are techy engineering types, they just said no and we don’t ever want to use that again. My experiment just showed that it’s [Second Life] is not just for the techy types, it’s for the ultra geeks who’ve got the time to put beards and hairstyles on and fly around the landscape”.

Lack of first-hand experience

views on Web 2.0 tools (2) Social technologies viewed as being suitable only for “soft” disciplines or pre-university education “ blogs and wikis might make sense in a lot of the softer subjects and primary and secondary education where they’re doing it on onsite training and they want to be able to discuss things with their peers and with their tutors plus keep records of their experiences within the school and share that with the rest of the class, but I think there’s only one of two enthusiasts [in the department] that are using tools other than what would be built into the VLE”.

Social technologies viewed as being suitable only for “soft” disciplines or pre-university education

“ blogs and wikis might make sense in a lot of the softer subjects and primary and secondary education where they’re doing it on onsite training and they want to be able to discuss things with their peers and with their tutors plus keep records of their experiences within the school and share that with the rest of the class, but I think there’s only one of two enthusiasts [in the department] that are using tools other than what would be built into the VLE”.

drivers for integration of tools Personal attitudes and open mindset “ The person who makes the most of it’s kind of been a hobby [for him/her]…because they like the technology and they are seeing benefits to their students”. Students’ expectations and characteristics “ I think schools have changed very quickly and are now using technology and PowerPoint and a whole range of things…so I think it would be the truth to say [younger] students come in with probably much greater knowledge and expertise and awareness of its [technology’s] potential than staff”.

Personal attitudes and open mindset

“ The person who makes the most of it’s kind of been a hobby [for him/her]…because they like the technology and they are seeing benefits to their students”.

Students’ expectations and characteristics

“ I think schools have changed very quickly and are now using technology and PowerPoint and a whole range of things…so I think it would be the truth to say [younger] students come in with probably much greater knowledge and expertise and awareness of its [technology’s] potential than staff”.

educational value of technology Texting and instant messaging could potentially be used in teaching but currently they were “too crude for organised educational use”. (Eng) “ I know that a lot of people think that you should put the two together but the academics see absolutely no reason for the students’ personal stuff to be linked in with their academic stuff because we are here, our job is the academic part…They could see it [the educational] on their phone [ie their personal devices] but it’s got to be kept separate”. Social technologies have greater potential in workplace learning than formal learning

Texting and instant messaging could potentially be used in teaching but currently they were “too crude for organised educational use”. (Eng)

“ I know that a lot of people think that you should put the two together but the academics see absolutely no reason for the students’ personal stuff to be linked in with their academic stuff because we are here, our job is the academic part…They could see it [the educational] on their phone [ie their personal devices] but it’s got to be kept separate”.

Social technologies have greater potential in workplace learning than formal learning

barriers to integration of e-tools (1) Lack of time Lack of imagination and reluctance to change “ A lot of people will say they don’t have time to do it because of other demands, because of tension between research and teaching and I think for a lot they have go a particular way of doing things that they’ve been doing it over years and years and years delivering it in the same way and therefore it is hard for them to kind of deconstruct that, to loosen up about it”. Digital literacy of staff – embarrassing if these don’t match students’ skills “ I find that a little embarrassing because a lot of courses will have a high number of school leavers and I just wonder if people face the same problems as I do, if they’re sort of behind the students really who are coming out with advanced skills and at the moment I don’t think that we all necessarily have the advanced skills to match it”.

Lack of time

Lack of imagination and reluctance to change

“ A lot of people will say they don’t have time to do it because of other demands, because of tension between research and teaching and I think for a lot they have go a particular way of doing things that they’ve been doing it over years and years and years delivering it in the same way and therefore it is hard for them to kind of deconstruct that, to loosen up about it”.

Digital literacy of staff – embarrassing if these don’t match students’ skills

“ I find that a little embarrassing because a lot of courses will have a high number of school leavers and I just wonder if people face the same problems as I do, if they’re sort of behind the students really who are coming out with advanced skills and at the moment I don’t think that we all necessarily have the advanced skills to match it”.

barriers to integration of e-tools (2) Lack of students’ IT skills Technology use within social work profession “pretty crude and primitive” – so mature students lack skills Students unwillingness to use personal devices on campus Infrastructural problems – eg lack of internet access and wifi in buildings and classrooms

Lack of students’ IT skills

Technology use within social work profession “pretty crude and primitive” – so mature students lack skills

Students unwillingness to use personal devices on campus

Infrastructural problems – eg lack of internet access and wifi in buildings and classrooms

Conclusions Students are far removed from their image as epitomic global, connected, socially-networked technologically-fluent digital natives who have little patience for passive and linear forms of learning. Far from demanding lecturers change their practice, students appear to conform to fairly traditional pedagogies, albeit with minor uses of technology tools that deliver content. Some evidence that younger students use a limited range of established technologies more actively than older student, primarily for recreational purposes rather than learning did not find evidence to support previous claims regarding students adopting radically different patterns of knowledge creation or exhibiting new forms of literacies Influenced by approaches adopted by lecturers, expect to be taught in traditional ways Arguments for educational change should not be grounded solely in students’ shifting patterns of learning and technology use.

Students are far removed from their image as epitomic global, connected, socially-networked technologically-fluent digital natives who have little patience for passive and linear forms of learning.

Far from demanding lecturers change their practice, students appear to conform to fairly traditional pedagogies, albeit with minor uses of technology tools that deliver content.

Some evidence that younger students use a limited range of established technologies more actively than older student, primarily for recreational purposes rather than learning

did not find evidence to support previous claims regarding students adopting radically different patterns of knowledge creation or exhibiting new forms of literacies

Influenced by approaches adopted by lecturers, expect to be taught in traditional ways

Arguments for educational change should not be grounded solely in students’ shifting patterns of learning and technology use.

Recommendations   Consider using the processes of social tools in the formal context Support learners in learning networking skills via module redesign and in induction (ICT skills) Build staff capacity in the use of social networking tools Devise new assessment practices more appropriate to 'learning as collaboration and participation’ Develop a campus culture in the use of social networking tools – staff and students Promote collaborative development between staff and students Develop institutional strategies that provide recognition of innovative teaching Support the use of students' own tools in campus settings

  Consider using the processes of social tools in the formal context

Support learners in learning networking skills via module redesign and in induction (ICT skills)

Build staff capacity in the use of social networking tools

Devise new assessment practices more appropriate to 'learning as collaboration and participation’

Develop a campus culture in the use of social networking tools – staff and students

Promote collaborative development between staff and students

Develop institutional strategies that provide recognition of innovative teaching

Support the use of students' own tools in campus settings

Further info Trinder, K., Guiller, J., Margaryan, A., Littlejohn, A., and Nicol, D. (2008). Learning from Digital Natives: Integrating formal and informal learning .  Final project report. Higher Education Academy, UK. Margaryan, A., & Littlejohn, A. (2008, December 11). Are digital natives a myth or reality?: Students’ use of technologies for learning . Draft paper (currently under review in ETRD).

Trinder, K., Guiller, J., Margaryan, A., Littlejohn, A., and Nicol, D. (2008). Learning from Digital Natives: Integrating formal and informal learning .  Final project report. Higher Education Academy, UK.

Margaryan, A., & Littlejohn, A. (2008, December 11). Are digital natives a myth or reality?: Students’ use of technologies for learning . Draft paper (currently under review in ETRD).

How can these findings be used to inform developments in GCU Schools?

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