DIGITAL NATIVES: A GENERATION ZAPPING THE LESS FUN TECHNOLOGY
Universidade Portucalense (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The widespread idea that young people under 18 are experts in technology can be controversial. In fact, the digital natives (Prensky, 2001) live surrounded by technology, using technology to communicate and have fun. The generation Z (Schmidt, 2008), designation used for people who were born in the 90s, and that "zap" between various devices and electronic applications. All with a strong use of digital devices, including smartphones, PCs, iPads and a lot of ultra-sophisticated game consoles (devices personal and not transferable). Social networks are used by all young people around the world. Actually this generation is very different from previous ones: digital immigrants do not use technology such innately. A professor who speaks to an audience of students can not in any way attract the attention of people who are used to seeing fantastic videos from YouTube. And what about “more serious“ work? Does a student in the 1st year know how to properly use MS Word? Almost any child is born knowing how to use a computer. But good use? Does a young man who joins the University know how to use features such as automatic index, cross reference, caption and label a picture or insert a new font for a quote? Does this young man know what the slide master of MS PowerPoint is? Or does he do school presentations by changing the settings of each of the slides? Is MS Excel an useful tool or just an application much like naval battle? I've been teaching for 22 years in higher education, always in the computer area. Often I teach courses to other degrees, including law. From what I've seen, students arrive at university with very few competences in terms of the MS Office tool that they will have to use all of the following years, especially when they are in the labor market. In the last semester I taught technological concepts (such as devices, memories, emerging technologies, disruptive technologies and so on) to students of the first year of a university degree in law. At first I asked them to complete a survey to know what computer equipment they possessed, what social networks they used, what kind of access applications they had, whether they liked technology or not and many other relates questions. One of the items for evaluation of this course consisted of a work on any emerging technology. The work for evaluation consisted of a document in MS Word and its presentation and discussion using MS PowerPoint or Prezi. There was an initial guide that they would have to follow, in particular the element that had to appear on the cover, the bibliographic references, indexes, the images labeled and tagged... Students sent their work via MOODLE and made a presentation. After the presentation they answered a survey (56 students). After the presentation they already were aware of their own difficulties. Despite the document containing several requisites, many of them didn't make it automatically. There is a curriculum awarded in high schools but not all students had computer science disciplines. It seems that the MS Office tools are a poor cousin of technology, when in reality they are very powerful means of working. This document shows the results of the answered inquiry of the day of the presentation and makes some recommendations about which competences the students should already have before coming to the University or, if not possible, what are the competencies that the University must give to their students.
Keywords: ICT SKills, Generation Z.