I’ve been taken in by and am now set against the idea of that there is a generational difference when it comes to use of technology – yes those starting university today clearly have different experiences with the kit than we/I did (I was at Oxford in 1981-84).
The computer was in a lab. My Dad had a Microwriter. By 1985 I might have had an Amstrad and a pager.
My point with this Digital Natives thing is that the term was coined without foundation. It is now being debunked. How come the academic instituions went along with it? Had this faux pas occured in the sciences propper rather than social sciences the ho-ha would have featured on the Today Programme.
Why do academics as well as journalists get taken in by the hyperbole?
Anyway, the OU research folk have been busy these last few months releasing all kinds of papers on the theme. Here are some of them.
It is has never been generational.
‘Our research suggests that we should be cautious about distinguishing a specific generation because although there are age differences there are additional factors differentiating students, specifically gender and disciplinary differences. We find significant age related differences but we are reluctant to conclude that there is a clear disconnection between a Net generation composed of Digital Natives and older students.’ ( Jones and Ramanau, 2010)
Read these for more
Jones, C and Ramanau, R (2010) The Net Generation enters university: What are the implications for technology enhanced learning? UK Open University, United Kingdom
Jones, C A new generation of learners? (2010) The Net Generation and Digital Natives
Jones. C and Healing, G (2010) Net Generation Students