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Are digital natives a world-wide phenomenon? An investigation into South African first year students’ use and experience with technology
ARTICLE

Computers & Education Volume 55, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Abstract

In 2001 Marc Prensky coined the phrase ‘digital natives’ to refer to the new generation of students who have grown up surrounded by technology. His companion papers spurred large amounts of research, debating changes that are required to curricula and pedagogical models to cater for the changes in the student population. This article reports on a study conducted in 2009 of more than 290 first year students at two South African universities. In this study, students were asked about their access to and use of technology. The results portrayed a heterogeneous student population, with varying levels of access to and use of most technologies. One of Prensky’s key features of a digital native is their excitement with Web 2.0 based technologies. Participants in this study however, appear not to use such technologies, and to not be interested in using them in their studies. One tool that students had high levels of access to (98.1%), and use of is the mobile phone. Out of all uses of technology surveyed, tasks involving the mobile phone were ranked in the top two positions. Also when asked to rank different uses of technology particularly for their studies, three of the top five uses relied on a mobile phone.

Citation

Thinyane, H. (2010). Are digital natives a world-wide phenomenon? An investigation into South African first year students’ use and experience with technology. Computers & Education, 55(1), 406-414. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved November 19, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on April 19, 2013. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ877989

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