Can we teach digital natives digital literacy?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Computers and Education, 2012, 59 (3), pp. 1065 - 1078
Issue Date:
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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. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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