Are you sure this generation are digital natives? Case study: Thailand and Australia
School of Science
New generations of young people are called digital natives, because they were born in a world where mobile technologies and information are available worldwide. These technologies appear at all levels of society, particularly mobile phones which are multifunctional and serve as communication and information-seeking devices. Users can order goods from the grocery store self-serve, bank and shop online, and participate in distance learning. This paper reports on the initial findings of a much larger study conducted in a Thai and two Australian universities and explores how students use technology for learning. Discussion also explores young people's ownership of technology and examines the myth of the digital native. By comparing current (2016) students' use in a Thai university with an older (2008) Australian study it aims to determine whether the way young people use technology has changed during the last eight years. In both studies how students in their early years at university used technology and felt about technology were examined. Findings from the current research indicate that attitudes to technology and cultures of technology use amongst young people have changed little since the original study's data collection eight years ago. The study concludes that universities should be conducting ongoing monitoring and measurement studies about student information technology competencies and the educational and motivational role of teaching and learning online, as well as the role of technology in preparing students for the future workplace.