The Voice of Learners to Understand ICTs Usages in Learning Experiences: a Quanti-qualitative Research Project in Ticino (Switzerland)
Abstract: The paper addresses the famous (and perhaps overworked) “digital natives” or “Gen Y” theme with an empirical approach. Moving from a survey on the literature on the topic, showing the implications – practically - in instructional design field and – theoretically – in pedagogy and referring to the main critical voices, the need to observe the problem in depth, overcoming a “global” point of view and adopting a localized-contextualized perspective is argued. Then is presented the research project “Learners’ voices @ USI-SUPSI”, a study set to observe the reality of university students in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland and meant to observe what are the cultural and educative impacts of new technologies in learning experiences. Results show that a monolithic generation of “digitalized learners” does not exist and that – even if age matters – there is a stronger dependence on variables such as learning culture, task-needs, individual skills/predispositions, personal behaviors, and training experience.