A study out of Austria provides more evidence that we need to carefully scrutinize the claims about the existence of a generation of digitally literate learners who are demanding new ways of learning and working.
Walther Nagler and Martin Ebner surveyed first year undergraduate students at Graz University of Technology in 2007 and 2008 about their use of digital technologies. Like other surveys of higher education students, they found widespread use of digital technologies and possession of devices such as laptops and mobile phones, but not a sophisticated use of the technology: "Although young students are technologically increasingly well-equipped, they do not exhaust the potential of their devices or the potential of common Web 2.0 applications." What is somewhat surprising then is Nagler and Ebner's conclusion that their evidence supports the need for a "rethinking of essential structural elements at universities."
Read the the paper, Is Your University Ready for the Ne(x)t-Generation.