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The ‘Digital Natives’ Debate; A Critical Review of the Evidence by Mind Map: The ‘Digital Natives’
Debate; A Critical Review
of the Evidence
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The ‘Digital Natives’ Debate; A Critical Review of the Evidence

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Define term 'Digital native

Born between 1980-1994

Sophisticated technical skills, Dependant on Communications technologies for Accessing information and Interacting with others, Also known as the ‘Net generation

New generation of students Entering education system.

Immersed in technology all their lives., They have particular learning preferences or styles that differ From earlier generations of students., processing visual and dynamic information and learning through game-based activities., learning at high speed, multitasking

Digital Natives ‘ think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors


This paper presents and questions the main claims made about ‘Digital Natives’

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The Authors argue that rather than being empirically and theoretically informed , The debate can be likened to an academic form of a ‘moral panic’.

Results do show high levels of some academic and recreational activities, and their associated skills. Only a minority were engaged in creating their own content and multimedia for the web.

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A significant had lower level skills than might be expected of digital natives

They propose that a more measured and disinterested approach is now required to investigate ’Digital Natives’ and their implications for education.

Education Commentators

Authors; Sue Bennett Karl Maton Lisa Kervin

research has identified differences related to socio-economic status, cultural/ethnic background, gender and discipline specialization

No evidence that multitasking is a new phenomenon

cognitive ‘overload’ as the brain shifts between competing stimuli.

Arguments for fundamental changes in education

must change in response to a new generation of technically adept young people.

Educational institutions at all levels are rapidly becoming outdated and irrelevant

risk failing a generation of students and our institutions face imminent obsolescence.

make schools relevant and effective places to learn’

Are these new students as ‘net savvy as they might have assumed ????

Many of their arguments currently lack support

without critical rational discussion ,little progress can be made towards a genuine debate

By using notions such as ‘ moral panic’ in society . It portrays that a certain group in society is under threat

Research is beginning to expose arguments about digital natives to critical enquiry-such understanding


The time has come for a considered and disinterested examination of the assumptions underpinning claims about digital natives.

to understand the situation before proclaiming the need for widespread change.