Monday, December 15, 2008

Study questions the digital native discourse

Anoush Margaryan and Allison Littlejohn have released the full draft of the paper that reports on their study of student use of technology in two British universities. As reported earlier, their findings tend to contradict the prevailing view of the "digital native" as a sophisticated user of technology who has a fundamentally different approach to learning. For me, one of the most interesting findings is on student attitudes towards learning:

"students’ attitudes to learning appear to be influenced by the teaching 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."

Other key findings:

"students use a limited range of technologies for both learning and socialisation. For learning, mainly established ICTs are used- institutional VLE, Google and Wikipedia and mobile phones. Students make limited, recreational use of social technologies such as media sharing tools and social networking sites...the findings point to a low level of use of and familiarity with collaborative knowledge creation tools, virtual worlds, personal web publishing, and other emergent social technologies."

Margaryan and Littlejohn conclude:

"The outcomes suggest that although the calls for radical transformations in educational approaches may be legitimate it would be misleading to ground the arguments for such change solely in students’ shifting expectations and patterns of learning and technology use."

1 comment:

Open Learning Coordinator said...

I have been very pleased to discover this blog. I have been teaching computer applications to higher education students for 25 years. We have always been expecting the standard of our incoming students to increase and that we would no longer need to teach this topic. It still has not happened.