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S. Koukoufiki, V. Dagdilelis

University of Macedonia (GREECE)
In literature, University students, and generally the new generation, are characterized as digital natives. According to Prensky (2001) “students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet”. In Greece, however, little research has been conducted on the use of new technologies by students.

This paper is an attempt to reflect the current situation in Greece concerning the access and use of new technologies by first-year students. In order to investigate the relationship between Greek freshmen with new technologies, a research was conducted at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. This research is still ongoing, as we try to roll it out to other Universities in the country.

The research aims to explore the following: a) Access and frequency of use of new technologies, b) skills in computer use and c) whether students are using new technologies for learning reasons or for entertainment. More precisely, we will try to find out what really is this specific "Digital Literacy" of young students and what really means for them.
We will be using a sample of first-year university students. Our data will be collected with an online questionnaire. As mentioned above the research is still ongoing so the results are not finalized.

According to preliminary results of a sample of the first 45 freshmen, most of them have experience the following:
1) They have access to the most widespread technologies such as computer, mobile phones, 2) The use of new technologies is related to specific actions that require a rather wide set of computer skills.
3) Frequency of use of new technologies are more prevalent in high technology, such as using mobile phone for making calls and using social networking platform on the Internet (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)
4) The use of new technologies is more for entertainment purposes than for educational reasons.
5) Students feel that with their graduation from the University, they will be more experienced in using new technologies, because they suppose an extensive use of new technologies at the University. Sometimes, however, they do feel disappointed because they consider that the use of new technologies during their studies is rather limited.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. (accessed at April 2012)