Examining Student Technology Ownership and Use: Generational Differences and Pedagogical Challenges

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Emerging technologies are the subject of much attention as are the needs and desires of today's students--and of tomorrow's. Terms such as Millennials, digital natives, digital immigrants, Generation Y, and the Net Generation carry much connotation, yet provide little in the way of information that can guide our decisions of how best to educate. Large higher education institutions are challenged to understand what technologies students own and how they desire to use technologies for learning.

During a Fall 2006 online survey at a large, metropolitan, state university, students were asked about their ownership of various technologies, how they use these technologies, and the importance of these technologies for their education. This research presents generational differences in technology ownership and use among students and examines characteristics of an effective technology integrated learning environment.

Some differences were found in technology ownership and use across the Net Generation (18-24 years) and older (25+) students. Younger students were more likely to report owning and using mobile technologies, especially for social and entertainment purposes. In contrast, with regards to using educational technologies, the generational differences disappeared. In conclusion, pedagogical implications of technology integrated learning environments are discussed.


Keywords: Net Generation, Digital Natives, Student Technology Ownership, Student Technology Use, Technology and Pedagogy
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: , , Examining Student Technology Ownership and Use


Dr. Laura Brewer

Director of Research, Applied Learning Technologies Institute
University Technology Office, Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ, USA


Dr. Zeynep Kilic

Senior Researcher, Applied Learning Technologies Institute
University Technology Office, Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ, USA


Dr. Samuel DiGangi

Associate Vice President, Applied Learning Technologies Institute
University Technology Office, Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ, USA


Dr. Angel Jannasch-Pennell

Assistant VP, Applied Learning Technologies Institute
University Technology Office, Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ, USA


Ref: T08P0459