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Millennials are Digital Natives? An Investigation into Digital Propensity and Age

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The abundance of opinions about Millennials has made it very difficult to separate reality from conjecture, especially with regard to the suppositions made about their propensity towards technology. Labeled as digital natives, Millennials are thought to posses learning traits never before seen as a result of growing up in the digital information age. In this chapter, we present the findings of a study in which postsecondary students (N = 580) were surveyed to quantitatively investigate the differences between digital natives and digital immigrants. Findings revealed that of the ten traits investigated, only two showed significant difference, and of these two traits, only one favored the digital native notion, shedding doubt on the strong digital propensity claims made about today’s Millennials. Although differences were found, we cannot say with any certainty that there is an unambiguous delineation that merits the digital native and digital immigrant labels. The findings raise a variety of implications for institutions training pre-service teachers; educators interested in using digital media, devices, and social networks in their classroom; curriculum developers designing instructional material; educational leaders developing information and communication technology policy for school; and researchers investigating digital propensity with today’s youth.

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... Many young people belong to the category of people that have been referred to as digital natives (see Dacosta, et al.,2012). They are born in the era of the Internet and digital technologies. ...
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