The Net Generation’s Informal and Educational Use of New Technologies

Swapna Kumar

Abstract


Many educators have called for the inclusion of new technologies like blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking in higher education to address the learning needs of the Net Generation. Is there really a discrepancy between the personal and educational use of new technologies by undergraduates? What new technologies do they perceive as most beneficial for their learning? A survey piloted with 26 undergraduates in education demonstrated a huge gap in undergraduates’ informal and educational use of new technologies, but indicated that students independently apply their technical skills to their coursework. In open-ended responses, students explained how they have benefited from professors’ use of online videos, podcasts, wikis and blogs, and how they would like to see them used in the future. The results are discussed in the context of prior research and the need for further empirical evidence on the differences within the group termed the Net Generation is highlighted.

Keywords: technology in education; Net Generation; use of new technologies; benefits


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