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September 30, 2013

Digital natives are not familiar with educational technologies

Can we teach digital natives digital literacy?

Wan Ng - School of Education, University of New South Wales


In recent years, there has been much debate about the concept of digital natives, in particular the differences between the digital natives' knowledge and adoption of digital technologies in informal versus formal educational contexts. This paper investigates the knowledge about educational technologies of a group of undergraduate students studying the course Introduction to eLearning at a university in Australia and how they adopt unfamiliar technologies into their learning. The study explores the 'digital nativeness' of these students by investigating their degree of digital literacy and the ease with which they learn to make use of unfamiliar technologies. The findings show that the undergraduates were generally able to use unfamiliar technologies easily in their learning to create useful artefacts. They need, however to be made aware of what constitutes educational technologies and be provided with the opportunity to use them for meaningful purposes. The self-perception measures of the study indicated that digital natives can be taught digital literacy.


► The study showed that digital natives are not familiar with educational technologies. ► They need to be made aware of and taught about educational technologies. ► They are able to adopt new technologies into their learning quite easily. ► Self-perception measures indicate that digital natives can be taught digital literacy.

Media in education;
Postsecondary education;
teaching/learning strategies

Full article: Can we teach digital natives digital literacy?

Computers & Education

Volume 59, Issue 3, November 2012, Pages 1065–1078

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