Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another Dutch Study Fails to Find the Net Generation

I missed this article when it was first published late last year but like the one I reported on yesterday, it also comes from the Netherlands and also concludes that framing the issue of digital technology use in terms of generation is simplistic and misleading.

A. van den Beemt, S. Akkerman & P.R.J. Simons in Patterns of Interactive Media Use Among Contemporary Youth investigated patterns of interactive media use by young people in the Netherlands. 2138 students aged 9 to 23 in education levels ranging from primary to higher professional education were surveyed. Using factor analysis, the researchers found four categories of interactive media activities:  interacting, performing, interchanging, and authoring and four clusters of interactive media users, Traditionalists, Gamers, Networkers, and Producers were identified using cluster analysis.

They conclude:
The diversity in interactive media use combined with the characteristic aspects of our dataset, imply caution in drawing conclusions about the educational consequences in using these media. The small percentage of Producers among the respondents together with the low means for authoring of the other user groups, indicate that not all of today’s youth are active in interactive media production as described in the Net Generation literature. Furthermore, our respondents did not express preferences for games or social software in a unified way. Thus, these results ask for a made to measure application of interactive media as learning tools. We consider the potential of this application as an important aspect of future analysis.

Unfortunately, this article is also published in a closed journal so good luck trying to access it.


Antoine Van den Beemt said...

A shorter, less scrutinized version of the article is freely available here:

Mark Bullen said...

Thanks for posting that link Antoine.