Some of my old colleagues from the DE&T days at UBC, Mark Bullen, Tannis Morgan and Adnan Qayyum, have recently completed some research looking at BCIT students and how they really use info and communication technologies (ICTs). Not surprisingly:
generational differences are not the issue. Contextual issues such as the nature of the program are more important considerations when making decisions about the integration of learning technologies.
I’ve long been suspicious about some of the Net-Gen “mythology” and wrote about it a couple of years ago. More recently, we encouraged some UBC students to share their opinions about learning, technology use, etc. via U-Stream. May be hard to watch the whole group of 1-2 minute clips (especially since many of the poor souls seemed to be suffering with colds) . Here are a few to start with: Cadence, Luke, Teena, Angeli and Kevin.
- mainly for social purposes
- sometimes to study together
- occasionally for group work (which one student expressed open hostility for)
- often to entertain themselves when boredom sets in
What’s interesting is that students don’t seem to be asking for games or even technology in the classroom. They are asking to be engaged in conversation and real life research, listened to, included and considered. These things have nothing to do with technology.