Not just digital natives: Integrating technologies in professional education contexts
Keywords:social media, professional learning, digital literacies, digital natives, critical review.
In 2001, Prensky characterised a new generation of learners entering higher education as digital natives – naturally digitally literate and inherently proficient users of technology. While many educational technology researchers have long argued for the need to move beyond the digital native assumptions proposed by Prensky and other futurists, a critical review of the literature reveals that this concept remains influential in academia broadly and within professional education specifically. In light of this, we propose an alternative approach to technology integration in professional education settings that aims to avoid unhelpful digital native stereotypes by instead developing digital literacies in ways that leverage technological affordances. By building digital literacies across the procedural and technical, cognitive, and sociocultural domains connected to professional competencies, learners can effectively adopt and utilise emerging technologies through professional digital practices.
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