Profiling university students' use of technology: where is the NET generation divide?

Jones, Chris and Hosein, Anesa (2010). Profiling university students' use of technology: where is the NET generation divide? The International Journal of Technology Knowledge and Society, 6(3) pp. 43–58.

URL: http://ijt.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.42/prod.674

Abstract

The paper presents work from a longitudinal study on how first year students from the Net Generation use ICT tools. Using factor analysis, the research found that students can be categorized into clusters based on whether they were using web 2.0 tools (web interactive), audio and video editing tools (technical-oriented), social networking tools (social interactive), gaming consoles (game-oriented) and online resources or word processing/presentation software tools (work-oriented).Young students within the Net Generation were highly social interactive whilst distance-learning students were less social interactive. International students were mainly found to be web-interactive with a growing social interaction over the course of their first year. The research supports the argument that there is no single Net Generation with common characteristics. It suggests that age is the most significant variable with gender, mode of study and the national origin of students all playing a role in patterning students’ engagement with new technologies.

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