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The digital natives as learners: Technology use patterns and approaches to learning

Computers & Education Volume 65, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This study investigated the claims made in the popular press about the “digital native” generation as learners. Because students' lives today are saturated with digital media at a time when their brains are still developing, many popular press authors claim that this generation of students thinks and learns differently than any generation that has come before, but the evidence to support these claims is scarce. This study used a survey to gather data on the technology use of university freshmen, the degree to which they identified with the claims being made about their approaches to learning, and the productiveness (in terms of focused attention, deep processing, and persistence) of their approaches to learning.Valid surveys were received from 388 freshmen at a large Midwestern land grant university. A factor analysis was used to identify meaningful patterns of technology use, and descriptive statistics, analysis of correlations, and extreme group


Thompson, P. (2013). The digital natives as learners: Technology use patterns and approaches to learning. Computers & Education, 65(1), 12-33. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 21, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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