Friday, March 23, 2012

The Role of Digital Technology in Learning

Here's another study that suggests student use of digital technology in higher education is more complex and nuanced that the net gen discourse suggests. Gabriel et al's approach and findings are very similar to ours in the Digital Learners in Higher Education project. Among other things, like us, they found differences in how students thought about and used digital technologies in their academic and non-academic live:

"Students' most frequent use of technology outside of school was email, Internet, social media, texting on cell phones, instant messaging, and talking on cell phones. The focus was on communication and socializing with others. The students' most frequent use of digital technologies in school were (in descending order) accessing information on the Internet, using email, word processing, math and science programs, texting on cell phones, and accessing electronic databases. In school, the students tended to use digital technologies to collect, select, and work with information. The differences between these two lists are significant. Some students felt that there was a place for all technologies in an educational form, while others wanted to maintain a separate digital footprint for inside the classroom as well as outside the classroom digital technologies."