8. Observing ICTs in Learners’ Experiences around the World

Emanuele Rapetti, Stewart Marshall

Abstract


The main goal of this article is to show why the so-called “Generation Y” (or“Digital natives”) perspective seems to be inappropriate (or, at least insufficient)to describe the population of current learners. Theoretical arguments andempirical data are given to strengthen the authors’ thesis.The structure of argumentation moves from a synthetic presentation of the“generation Y” perspective, then the reasons why it seems not fully adequatein pedagogy are explained, then the main results from a research projectobserving contemporary learners are presented. These results are thencompared with those of a similar research project conducted in a differentcontext. Conclusions highlight major issues in the field and envision the nextsteps needed to elaborate a more anthropologically-founded perspective.The research project whose data are presented is called “Learners’ voices@ UWIOC” and has been run at the Open campus of the University of theWest Indies. The research project was conceived in collaboration with eLab(eLearning Laboratory USI-SUPSI) and NewMinE Lab (New Media inEducation Laboratory), of the Università della Svizzera italiana promoter of thestudy “Learners’ voices @USI-SUPSI” in the Swiss context.

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