Net Geners

A timely article by Barbara Combes (Edith Cowan Uni) from her thesis on behavour of the Net Gen. Her analysis of research on the Net gen largely debunks the myth of an intuitive user who is capable of using electronic resources to find information. Their comfort with the technology is not matched by competency. Most of the recent literature which has resurfaced has been via public domain web sites. The major flaw she argues in the ‘research’ has been the failure to observe how the students are using the technology for information seeking. I’d add that the observations are really based on Net Gens engagement with P2P interactions, gaming, music and mobile devices and not critcal information skills. My only point of contention with Barbara would be her postioning of librarians as the gateway to information. This is everyones responsiblity -all teachers-trainers. Librarians should be the more at the specialist end of the information chain (then they might be paid their true worth).


About thand

I'm a currently working at NSW Departrment of Education & Training, Connected Classrooms Program, Sydney.
This entry was posted in digital natives, education, information organising, literacies, Net Gen, Public schools, schooling. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Net Geners

  1. Hi Tim,

    thanks for that. I recently attended a conference which had the ‘net generation’ as a theme. I found that overall the idea of net generation seemed to be different from that of the ‘digital native’. While the native idea implies super-tech fluency that older folks can never match – and all sorts of tech related skills and proficiencies – I found that the net generation idea seemed a lot more nuanced and balanced.

    Indeed, talking to people opinions generally went against the mythical digital native – instead seeing a much more varied mix of positive and negative results of being raised in a media and always-on communications saturated environment.

    Key problems seemed to be with poor critical evaluation, limited concentration and an overly strategic (just what I need to know and no more!) approach to learning.

    Meanwhile the Digital Native phrasing sells these as good things! ‘Multi-tasking’ and ‘Just-in-time’ learning.

  2. Pingback: Tech Savvy? « Learning Games

  3. We look at “facility” and mis-read “fluency” into it.

  4. Pingback: Once were natives « Tim’s Blog de Blog

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