And the beat goes on....
Posted by Mark Bullen on August 5 2011 at 8:17 p.m.
While futurists and pundits continue to crank out the books portraying the "digital native" as some kind of newly-discovered tribe whose habits, language and culture we need to understand (see, for example, href="http://infotoday.stores.yahoo.net/dancing-with-digital-natives.html">Dancing with Digital Natives), researchers continue to show how unfounded the generational claims are. And the research is coming from all parts of the world.
The latest piece of research I have read comes from the Caribbean, where Emanule Rapetti and Stewart Marshall have completed a study of learners at the http://www.open.uwi.edu/">Open Campus of the University of the West Indies. Their study, which is remarkably similar to our http://digitallearners.ca/">Digital Learners in Higher Education research, sought to determine whether UWIOC students fit the "digital native" profile and to develop a deeper understanding of how UWIOC students are using ICTs for learning.
Their results show that, while younger students are more familiar with ICT use in non-educational contexts, there is not a clear gap between younger and older students in terms of their use and familiarity with digital technologies for learning. They also found that older students tend to prefer e-learning slightly more than younger students. They conclude, "it is necessary to contextualize the discourse about learners and to avoid generalizations about their - supposed - technological skills; our research shows that it is highly risky to split the tech-savvy learners simply according to the age factor."
Read the full article, href="http://www.box.net/shared/jrlefv705hbm3ayet6oa">Observing ICTs in Learners' Experiences around the World.
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