First year students' experiences with technology: Are they really digital natives?

Gregor E. Kennedy, Terry S. Judd, Anna Churchward, Kathleen Gray, Kerri-Lee Krause

Abstract


This paper reports on a study conducted in 2006 with more than 2,000 incoming first-year Australian university students. Students were asked about their access to, use of and preferences for an array of established and emerging technologies and technology based tools. The results show that many first year students are highly tech-savvy. However, when one moves beyond entrenched technologies and tools (e.g. computers, mobile phones, email), the patterns of access and use of a range of other technologies show considerable variation. The findings are discussed in light of Prensky's (2001a) notions of the 'Digital Natives' and the implications for using technology to support teaching and learning in higher education.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1233