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How Digital Native Learners Describe Themselves

Education and Information Technologies Volume 20, Number 3, ISSN 1360-2357


Eight university students from the "digital native" generation were interviewed about the connections they saw between technology use and learning, and also their reactions to the popular press claims about their generation. Themes that emerged from the interviews were coded to show patterns in how digital natives describe themselves. Participants in this study agreed with some of the claims on a surface level but also described a deliberate and strategic approach to managing the distractions of technology in order to pursue their educational goals. This qualitative view of digital native students, as expressed in their own words, adds detail and additional nuance to the growing body of quantitative data that challenges the popular conception of the digital natives as a homogeneous generation with a common learning style.


Thompson, P. (2015). How Digital Native Learners Describe Themselves. Education and Information Technologies, 20(3), 467-484. Retrieved August 11, 2020 from .

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