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?
As I described in the Week 5 overview, 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.