Posted by: MandyS | February 8, 2013

Conclusions about the Net Generation…

A couple more activities, which consider whether the claims about the net generation being highly skilled in ICT and multitasking are valid.

The Gregor Kennedy interview basically concludes that although students use core technologies i.e. internet and mobile communication, many are unaware of technologies such as Blogs and Web 2.0. In reality it is the educators who are more experienced than the students in using diverse technologies for learning. To that end, it means educators have to be more aware of the ‘diversity of the the student group’ in making decisions about technologies they may wish to employ.

The article Measurement and evidence of computer-based task switching and multitasking by ‘Net Generation’ students makes some interesting points about multitasking i.e. the ability to engage in more than one task at a time. A ‘useful skill’ indeed. The article suggests that the net generation are the ‘pre-eminent multitaskers;’ probably because operating systems are such today that multitasking is encouraged. The downside of multitasking is its effects on the learning process. Quite simply, there is a ‘measurable cognitive cost’ leading to a ‘degredation in performance’ and ‘an increase in time.’ Basically, it is impossible to concentrate effectively on more than one thing at a time. Classic example on the train yesterday morning. I was endeavouring to concentrate on writing this, a lady was on her phone having a very loud intense conversation, an my phone kept buzzing to tell me I had messages. The upshot, I gave up writing. I was not on my own, the gentleman opposite put his papers away too…

Technology clearly has its place in learning but it has to be ‘suit the needs and expertise’ of those using it, and the use of too much technology may ultimately detract from learning experience.

References:

Judd, T. and Kennedy, G. (2011) ‘Measurement and evidence of computer-based task switching and multitasking by “Net Generation” students’, Computers & Education, vol.56, no.3, pp.625–31; also available online at http://www.sciencedirect.com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/ science/ article/ pii/ S0360131510002897 (accessed 02 February 2013).

 

 

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