1st Edition

Deconstructing Digital Natives Young People, Technology, and the New Literacies

Edited By Michael Thomas Copyright 2011
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    There have been many attempts to define the generation of students who emerged with the Web and new digital technologies in the early 1990s. The term "digital native" refers to the generation born after 1980, which has grown up in a world where digital technologies and the internet are a normal part of everyday life. Young people belonging to this generation are therefore supposed to be "native" to the digital lifestyle, always connected to the internet and comfortable with a range of cutting-edge technologies.

    Deconstructing Digital Natives offers the most balanced, research-based view of this group to date. Existing studies of digital natives lack application to specific disciplines or conditions, ignoring the differences of educational fields and gender. How, and how much, are learners changing in the digital age? How can a more pluralistic understanding of these learners be developed? Contributors to this volume produce an international overview of developments in digital literacy among today’s young learners, offering innovative ways to steer a productive path between traditional narratives that offer only complete acceptance or total dismissal of digital natives.

    Foreword, David Buckingham, University of London, UK

    1. Technology, Education and the Discourse of the Digital Native: Between Evangelists and Dissenters, Michael Thomas, University of Central Lancashire, UK

    I. Reflecting on the Myth

    2. Digital Wisdom and Homo Sapiens Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to the Digitally Wise, Marc Prensky, Educational Consultant, USA

    3. Students, the Net Generation and Digital Natives: Accounting for Educational Change, Chris Jones, The Open University, UK

    II. Perspectives

    4. Disempowering by Assumption: Digital Natives and EU Civic Web Project, Shakuntala Banaji, London School of Economics, UK

    5. Japanese Youth and Mobile Media, Toshie Takahashi, Harvard University, USA, Rikkyo University, Japan

    6. Analysing Students’ Multimodal Texts: The Product and the Process, Mike Levy, The University of Queensland, Australia & Rowan Michael, Griffith University, Australia

    7. Citizens Navigating in Literate Worlds: The Case of Digital Literacy, Ola Erstad, University of Oslo, Norway

    8. Beyond Google and the "Satisficing" Searching of Digital Natives, Gregor E. Kennedy & Terry S. Judd, University of Melbourne, Australia

    9. Actual and Perceived Online Participation among Young people in Sweden, Sheila Zimic & Rolf Dalin, Mid Sweden University, Sweden

    10. Young Children, Digital Technology and Interaction with Text, Rachael Levy, University of Sheffield, UK

    III. Beyond Digital Natives

    11. Intellectual Field or Faith-based Religion: Moving on From the Idea of "Digital Natives," Sue Bennett, University of Wollongong, Australia & Karl Maton, University of Sydney, Australia

    12. Reclaiming an Awkward Term: What We Might Learn from "Digital Natives," John Palfrey & Urs Gasser, Harvard University, USA


    Dr. Michael Thomas is Senior Lecturer in language learning technologies and digital business communication in the School of Languages and International Studies at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.

    "Overall, Deconstructing Digital Natives is a very worthwhile book, which successfully brings a thoughtful, international perspective to the rather infamous topic of digital natives research. While readers may occasionally find portions of Part II a bit disparate or dry, the final collection is both strong and entertaining to read."
    Education Review