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Debunking ‘digital natives’

Selwyn (2008) and Kennedy et al (2008) debunk the myth of the ‘digital native’.

It matters in equal measure for practitioners and students the policy about learning design is based on objective facts and repeated quantitative and qualitative research.

It isn’t simply that the ‘assumptions made by commentators in the Net Generation warrant critical examination, concern should be expressed that these reports were taken seriously when they published in 1999 and 2001. As Kennedy et al point out such broad generalisations risk overlooking a more complex mix of ICT skills and knowledge among student and teacher populations. If acted upon wholesale adoption of technologies or assumptions of their widespread use by this generation would risk alienating substantial parts of both teacher and student populations. The key point made by Kennedy et al is to ‘think about how well we know our students and how we can ensure we meet their real needs and not what we imagine they might need.’

FURTHER LINKS: Generation X doesn’t exist

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