06 SES 05 JS, Questioning the Net Generation
Paper Session, Joint Session NW 06 and NW 16
The Norwegian curriculum reform of 2006 includes digital skills as one of five basic skills (the ability to read, the ability to write, numeracy, oral skills and digital skills) that should be integrated into every subject area. One of the basic components of digital skills is digital responsibility and the ability to critically evaluate online resources, digital media and being aware of privacy rights and the consequences of ones choices online. At the same time there are assumptions that teenagers today are digitally native and therefore aware of most of the challenges connected to the use of digital technology.
The concept of the ‘digital native’ is often applied to the generation born in the digital age, and relates to debates on what it means being digitally competent (Prensky, 2001; Tapscott, 1998). Digital natives are considered to be digitally literate and capable of using digital tools extensively as a result of their familiarity with digital technology and social networking from an early age. According to such approaches, today’s students should be categorised as digital natives. It has however been questioned whether digital natives are in fact as digitally competent as they are assumed to be. We claim that it can be argued that the use of digital technology in schools has led to overgeneralisations about the digital competence of students. Such generalisations have resulted in the myth that young people are more competent than they actually are.
With increased use of the Internet and digital technology in teaching and learning as well as the use of social networking activities there is therefore a continuous need for raising the awareness around digital responsibility. Young people today use digital technology both at home for leisure activities as well as at school. Consequently they are active online citizens. In order to measure young people’s knowledge and critical reflection on aspects around issues such as safe Internet use, privacy, social networking and cyber bullying we conducted a study including questions on these aspects.
Our main objective in this paper is to present a study on digital competence with special focus on factors measuring digital responsibility by 9 graders in Norway. This is an annual study conducted by the research unit at the Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education on a wide range of aspects connected to access, use and attitudes towards the use of digital technology at school. In this paper we focus in particular on the aspects connected to digital responsibility and social networking. The specific research questions are: 1) What kind of social networking activities are the students participating in; 2) What is the student’s knowledge about rules for privacy and re-use of other student’s pictures? And 3) What is the relationship between student’s frequency of use and their competence? We consider the digital responsibility of the students in comparison to the aims of the Norwegian National Curriculum (2006), which requires students leaving lower secondary school to be familiar with aspects connected to e-safety, such as privacy rights, copyrights, information evaluation and source credibility.
Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775-786. Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (2006) National Curriculum for Knowledge Promotion in Primary and Secondary Education and Training. Retrieved from http://www.udir.no/Stottemeny/English/Curriculum-in-English/ Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. (2012). Framework for Basic Skills. Retrieved from http://www.udir.no/Stottemeny/English/Curriculum-in-English/_english/Framework-for-Basic-Skills/ Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the Horizon. Retrieved from http://www.nnstoy.org/download/technology/Digital Natives - Digital Immigrants.pdf Selwyn, N. (2008). The digital native - myth and reality. Aslib Proceedings, 61(4), 364-379. Tapscott, D. (1998). Growing up digital: The rise of the net generation. New York: McGraw-Hill.
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