Virtual School Meanderings

July 15, 2013

EDTECH597 – Examining Generational Differences

Earlier this summer semester, you read:

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants – Part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6). Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

McKenzie, J. (2007). Digital nativism: Digital delusions and digital deprivation. From Now On, 17(2). Retrieved from http://fno.org/nov07/nativism.html

Reeves, T.C. (2008). Do generational differences matter in instructional design? Online discussion presentation to Instructional Technology Forum from January 22-25, 2008 at http://it.coe.uga.edu/itforum/Paper104/ReevesITForumJan08.pdf

The main take aways from these readings included:

  • while the theory of generational differences exists and is a valid theory, there is no research at present that indicates instructional designers should modify instruction or instructional strategies to accommodate today’s generation of students
  • there is no reliable and valid research to support the belief that technology has somehow changed today’s generation of students
  • further to the fact that Prensky’s notion of digital natives isn’t based on research, McKenzie does a convincing job of illustrating how Prensky even misused the anecdotal “evidence” that he presents to support is beliefs
  • the only thing that can be said about today’s student, based upon reliable and valid research, is that they are more narcissistic than any previous generation

However, even faced with these realities in almost every semester where I use these three readings there are multiple students – often the majority of students – who still believe that the students they teach are fundamentally influenced by digital technology and it has changed the way that they learn in the classroom.

As educational technologists, what did you take away from these generational differences readings? How would you handle a colleague who bought into the notion of digital natives?

Please post your response to this prompt ON YOUR OWN blog.  In addition to your response, you are asked to leave comments on at least three other students’ blogs. As always, you are asked to respond to those who leave a comment on your blog.

22 Comments »

  1. […] This blog post is in response to a prompt provided on my professor’s blog. […]

    Pingback by Responding to the Digital Native | TechieLibrarian — July 15, 2013 @ 11:49 am | Reply

  2. […] This blog post is in response to a prompt provided on my professor’s blog. […]

    Pingback by Responding to the Digital Native | Beth Transue: EdTech Learning Log — July 15, 2013 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  3. […] This blog post is a prompt from a professor’s blog which can be found HERE […]

    Pingback by EDTECH597 – Examining Generational Differences | The English Spot — July 16, 2013 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  4. Some Additional Thoughts on Generational Differences

    A few weeks ago, I wrote a somewhat controversial post that focused on my opinions regarding the ‘Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants’ discussion that’s top-of-mind in the education world right now. It was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, and I should…

    Trackback by Mike Lipson: EDTECH Learning Log — July 16, 2013 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

  5. Examining Generational Differences

    I decided it would be best if I went back and reread the readings since it has been several weeks since the initial reading. All three articles were interesting to reread and I was able to get a different perspective from my initial reading. Prensky ha…

    Trackback by Catherine Holthaus: EDTECH 597 ~ Blogging in the Classroom — July 16, 2013 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  6. Generational Differences

    “My students need technology to learn.” “If I didn’t have laptops in my classroom my students wouldn’t learn as well.” These statements reflect a growing idea in education that students of the 21st century should be taught differently than students fro…

    Trackback by zunkertech — July 16, 2013 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  7. […] This post is in response to the following prompt posed on my course instructor’s blog.  […]

    Pingback by Examining Generational Differences | A. Rutschke — July 16, 2013 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  8. […] In response to a post from Virtual School Meanderings: […]

    Pingback by Response to Instructor’s Prompt – Generational Differences | Amy Simon EDTECH Blog — July 17, 2013 @ 10:56 am | Reply

  9. […] This blog entry is in response to a professor’s prompt: “As educational technologists, what did you take away from these generational differences readings? How would you handle a colleague who bought into the notion of digital natives?”  View full prompt here. […]

    Pingback by EDTech 597: Examining Generational Differences | ChristaBrediger — July 17, 2013 @ 11:00 am | Reply

  10. Examining Generational Differences

    When examining generational differences through the class readings I found the concepts especially interesting in how they related so well to my own particular ideas on the digital divide. I see the work by Marc Prensky “Digital Natives, Digital Immig…

    Trackback by Arty Rockin' — July 18, 2013 @ 8:48 am | Reply

  11. Examining Generational Differences

    This post is in response to a prompt from the blog of the professor. I am one that followed the idea that students’ thinking is changed because of the technology that is available. And, to be honest, it is a thinking that is very difficult for me to c…

    Trackback by EDTECH 597 Blog — July 18, 2013 @ 8:50 am | Reply

  12. Examining Generational Differences

    This blog entry is in response to a professor’s prompt: “As educational technologists, what did you take away from these generational differences readings? How would you handle a colleague who bought into the notion of digital natives?” View Professor…

    Trackback by EdTech597- Blogging in the Classroom — July 18, 2013 @ 9:10 am | Reply

  13. Digital Differences Within the Classroom

    While reading Prensky’s article I continually thought about the differences between my mother and I on how we deal with technology. She, being a baby boomer, works hard at staying as in tune with the latest kinds of tech. She has a smartphone, a laptop…

    Trackback by Classroom Blogging with Jaime — July 18, 2013 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  14. Generational Differences Takeaway

    My concerns regarding these two readings are they try to paint an exact image and argue for an exact image of what students are and how they learn. There is no such thing. Sure, you can generalize what a Baby Boomer’s work ethic is and how he might lea…

    Trackback by Jason Marconi's Learning Log — July 18, 2013 @ 9:24 am | Reply

  15. Response: Examining Generational Differences

    The following prompt is in response to a blog post by my instructor on generational differences: http://virtualschooling.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/edtech597-examining-generational-differences-3/ I feel that we can’t ignore the fact that the way we are…

    Trackback by Baker's AP World History Timpview High School — July 18, 2013 @ 9:32 am | Reply

  16. Examining Generational Differences

    After reading the prompt I was very glad that I wrote an initial post on this very question back when we read the articles. Feel free to go back and read the complete post. I will be a little more direct in this post and stick with the two things I cam…

    Trackback by Stevenson's Teaching Resources — July 18, 2013 @ 9:40 am | Reply

  17. Have Digital Natives Changed My Teaching?

    Earlier in the class, we read Prensky’s article about digital natives and digital immigrants. At the time, I blogged about the fact that I am skeptical of Prensky’s lack of research as mentioned by McKenzie in her article. I also noted that McKenzie’s…

    Trackback by Darla Grant — July 18, 2013 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  18. Examining Generational Differences

    In Prensky’s article (2001), he talks about how technology is like a language. The younger a person is, the easier it is to learn the technology language. Much like immigrants, the older the person is when he or she learns how to use technology, the th…

    Trackback by Emily Peterson: EdTech Learning Log — July 18, 2013 @ 9:46 am | Reply

  19. Generational Differences

    This blog post is a response to the questions “As educational technologists, what did you take away from these generational differences readings? How would you handle a colleague who bought into the notion of digital natives?” Are children different…

    Trackback by Mr. Guthrie's Classroom — July 20, 2013 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  20. EDTECH 597 – Examining Generational Differences

    As I continue to delve into the subject matter of Educational Technology, I am pressed with the question about how much technology is needed? The courses that I have taken so far have caused me to think about what educational technology is, how it can…

    Trackback by Learning to Blog — July 20, 2013 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  21. […] EDTECH597 – Examining Generational Differences […]

    Pingback by Statistics for July 2013 | Virtual School Meanderings — August 1, 2013 @ 7:09 am | Reply

  22. […] Examining Generational Differences […]

    Pingback by EDTech597 – End Of Course | Virtual School Meanderings — August 6, 2013 @ 8:01 am | Reply


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