The study was conducted by Anoush Margaryan and Allison Littlejohn at Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde Universities in the UK. Here is a summary of their findings. A full article is in the works.
This study investigated the extent and nature of use of technologies – primarily communication technologies, social software and mobile devices – by undergraduate students in two disciplines, social work and education, in Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde Universities in the UK. The study included a questionnaire survey of 160 students, followed up by in-depth interviews with 8 students and 8 staff members at both institutions. The findings show that many young students are far from being the epitomic global, connected, socially-networked technologically-fluent digital native who has little patience for passive and linear forms of learning. Students use a limited range of technologies for formal and informal learning. These are mainly established ICTs - institutional VLE, Google and Wikipedia and mobile phones. Students make limited, recreational use of social technologies such as media sharing tools and social networking. Findings point to a very low level of use and familiarity with collaborative knowledge creation tools such as wikis, virtual worlds, personal web publishing, and other emergent social technologies. The study did not find evidence to support the claims regarding students adopting radically different patterns of knowledge creation and sharing suggested by some previous studies. This study reveals that students’ attitudes to learning appear to be influenced by the approaches adopted by their lecturers. 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. In fact their expectations were that they would be “taught” in traditional ways – even though many of these students were engaged in courses that are viewed by these Universities as adopting innovative approaches to technology-enhanced learning. The study didn’t find age differences in patterns of technology use – the young students were just as likely to be conservative in the extent and nature of technology use as the older ones. Margaryan, A., & Littlejohn, A. (2008). The myth of the digital native: Students’ use of technologies. Presentation at an Academy Horizons Seminar, Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University. Available online at http://www.slideshare.net/anoush/myth-of-digital-native-students-use-of-technologies-presentation