Virtual School Meanderings

July 14, 2014

EDTECH537 – 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.

23 Comments »

  1. It’s A Simple Process – Right?

    Earlier this summer I reread an article by Marc Prensky regarding the idea of today’s students being “digital natives” – learners who have individually spent 10,000 hours playing video games and 20,000 hours watching television by the time they leave c…

    Trackback by A Journey in Blogging …learning to make learning public… — July 15, 2014 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  2. Grandma, What is a Record Player?

    Many people laugh when they hear these types of sayings from young children, even teenagers these days. It is one of those things in life that makes you feel old because that type of technology is no longer around. Right now, think of five things in yo…

    Trackback by 1, 2, 3: Come Blog with Me A Preschool Teacher's Journey to Blogging — July 15, 2014 @ 10:11 am | Reply

  3. […] This post is in response to Examining Generational Differences which was posted by Michael Barbour the professor for my EdTech 537 masters class on blogging. The original post can be found here. […]

    Pingback by Response to Examining Generational Differences | bryan wiedeman — July 15, 2014 @ 12:05 pm | Reply

  4. Generational Differences [Prompt 1]

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

    Trackback by Miss Lodwick's Blog — July 15, 2014 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

  5. […] week in my EDTECH 537 classwork, we were asked to describe how we would respond to a colleague that has accepted the idea of the […]

    Pingback by Natives? | Read Before You Think — July 15, 2014 @ 12:33 pm | Reply

  6. […] This post is in response to a prompt located on Virtual Meanderings: Examining Generational Differences […]

    Pingback by Response: Examining Generational Differences | She Clicks "Enter" — July 16, 2014 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

  7. […] This post is in response to Examining Generational Differences which was posted by Michael Barbour, EdTech 537,  here. […]

    Pingback by EdTech 537: Blog Response | Kimberly Hefty: EDTECH Learning Log — July 16, 2014 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

  8. […] As part of my EdTech blogging course, our professor offered the following prompt:  […]

    Pingback by Millenial Students – Is there a difference in their learning? | Orange in the Middle of a Table — July 17, 2014 @ 9:42 am | Reply

  9. Generational Gaps

    In response to this question based on readings about generational gaps I can both agree and disagree that there is a difference in the way things are taught and learned today. But I feel that this is true not because kids today process information diff…

    Trackback by From Mrs. Daley's Library — July 20, 2014 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  10. Digital Natives? Digital Nonsense!

    In response to this question based on readings about generational gaps I can both agree and disagree that there is a difference in the way things are taught and learned today. But I feel that this is true not because kids today process information diff…

    Trackback by Learning Out Loud — July 20, 2014 @ 9:39 am | Reply

  11. Is Technology Changing our Brains?

    This week in my EdTech 537 course, we are asked to address this question. I have already given my thoughts about these articles in an earlier blog post found here. If a colleague came up to me and expressed belief in the notion that our current student…

    Trackback by Adventures in Teaching — July 20, 2014 @ 9:40 am | Reply

  12. Instructor’s Prompt: Examining Generational Differences

    What did you take away from these generational differences readings? As an AP Statistics teacher, albeit one with one year of experience, my first concern is regarding the references for all three articles. The article by Marc Prensky, Digital Natives,…

    Trackback by Angie Kruzich: EdTech Learning Log — July 20, 2014 @ 9:42 am | Reply

  13. Examining Generational Differences

    Responding to Michael Barbour’s blog, Examining Generational Difference, while there is no valid proof that changed today’s generation students, I can ask my 5 year old nephew to watch a show with me and he will go to the iPad, not the TV. That is just…

    Trackback by Dustin Parulis - Blogging in the Classroom — July 20, 2014 @ 9:42 am | Reply

  14. On Generational Differences

    In 2001, Marc Prensky published an article “Digital Natives Digital Immigrants” that asserts the major differences between Millennials or Generation Y and the rest of the population. A major claim that our assumptions about young people and how they le…

    Trackback by Lights, Camera, Construction — July 20, 2014 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  15. Examining Generational Differences (Commentary Post)

    A few weeks ago, we EDTECH537 students were asked to read the following articles: Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants – Part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6). Retrieved fromhttp://www.marcprensky.com/writin…

    Trackback by Spanish Immersion Resources: Elementary — July 20, 2014 @ 9:44 am | Reply

  16. Narcissists and Microwaves

    Reading the take away statements for the required articles made me laugh. Especially the last statement “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…

    Trackback by C. Edwards – Ed Tech 537 — July 20, 2014 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  17. Is Technology Changing Our Brains?

    For my Ed Tech 537 class, we were asked to respond to this blogpost/question. While technology hasn’t changed the way our brains work, it has changed the way we work and live in the world. Technology can help us to do our jobs quicker and more accurat…

    Trackback by Kindergarten Tech — July 20, 2014 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  18. The Newest Generation: Digital Natives, or just a Tech-Savvy Bunch?

    Note: I’m still digesting the idea of digital natives. I think I have been all year! :) One second I agree with something Marc Prensky says, the next second I’m entirely in disagreement. This blog post reflects my discombobulated thought process, and i…

    Trackback by Marne Bender — July 20, 2014 @ 9:46 am | Reply

  19. Let Them Be Creative – EdTech 537

    For My EdTech 537 class we were asked to read three articles. The first was by Prensky, the second by McKenzie, and the third by Reeves. In each of the these readings, According to our professor, here are the generalizations that came out of them: 1. w…

    Trackback by Reversing Instruction In Social Studies — July 20, 2014 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  20. Generational Differences

    When examining generational differences, one cannot ignore the idea of expectations. Digital nativists fully expect information to be passed on to them through technology. The very idea of unattainable information, or ‘lost’ events, songs, or moments a…

    Trackback by Bobby Letter's 537 Blogging In the Classroom — July 20, 2014 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  21. Digital Natives And Generation “Me”

    Editor’s Note: This blog is also used for my Blogging in the Classroom course which I am currently taking at Boise State University. So, from time to time there will be posts unrelated to Interior Design. Enjoy the comments. More Interior Design posts…

    Trackback by Two Shiny Pennies: Design Ideas That Make Cents — July 20, 2014 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  22. […] EDTECH537 – Examining Generational Differences […]

    Pingback by EDTECH537 – Statistics for July 2014 | Virtual School Meanderings — August 1, 2014 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

  23. […] Examining Generational Differences […]

    Pingback by EDTECH537 – End Of Course | Virtual School Meanderings — August 4, 2014 @ 8:03 am | Reply


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