Questioning the net generation: A collaborative project in Australian higher education
Kathleen Gray, Terry Judd
Susan Bennett, Karl Maton
This paper describes a project, which has been supported by the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, that aims to identify how the technology-based tools of a new generation of students can be successfully used by higher education. Recent commentaries propose that Universities are ill-equipped to educate a new generation of learners whose sophisticated use of emerging technologies is incompatible with current teaching practice. This project will investigate this proposed gap between learners’ and teachers’ use of technologies and identify the implications for higher education. This paper presents the rationale of the project, highlighting its critical stance on current notions of the ‘Net Generation’. The three phases of the project – Investigation, Implementation and Dissemination – are then described. The project will be undertaken as a collaboration between staff at The University of Melbourne, the University of Wollongong and Charles Sturt University. In the final stages of the project, members of the ascilite community will be able to participate in practical workshops based on the lessons we have learned from questioning the ‘Net Generation’.
Keywords: net generation, digital natives, learning, educational technology