Thursday, December 23, 2010

Digital Learners in Higher Education: Generation is Not the Issue

The idea that generation explains how young people use digital technologies and that these "digital natives" are fundamentally different from the older "digital natives" in how they use and understand technology has been successfully debunked. Our work and in particular, the article, Digital Learners in Higher Education: Generation is Not the Issue, is part of the significant body of research that has exposed the superficiality of the techno-determinist rhetoric of the popular futurists (e.g., Tapscott, Prensky, Palfrey & Gasser and others). This article has been accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Learning & Technology but will probably not be published until sometime in 2011 so we are making a pre-publication version of the article available now.

We and others (e.g., see special issues of Journal of Computer Assisted Learning and Learning, Media & Technology) have moved beyond the simplistic generational perspective and have begun to explore the deeper and more important issues related to how higher education learners understand and use digital technologies in different parts of their lives. Stay tuned for more on this.

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