The Net Generation’s Informal and Educational Use of New Technologies


  • Swapna Kumar University of Florida



Many educators have called for the inclusion of new technologies like blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking in higher education to address the learning needs of the Net Generation. Is there really a discrepancy between the personal and educational use of new technologies by undergraduates? What new technologies do they perceive as most beneficial for their learning? A survey piloted with 26 undergraduates in education demonstrated a huge gap in undergraduates’ informal and educational use of new technologies, but indicated that students independently apply their technical skills to their coursework. In open-ended responses, students explained how they have benefited from professors’ use of online videos, podcasts, wikis and blogs, and how they would like to see them used in the future. The results are discussed in the context of prior research and the need for further empirical evidence on the differences within the group termed the Net Generation is highlighted.

Keywords: technology in education; Net Generation; use of new technologies; benefits

Author Biography

Swapna Kumar, University of Florida

Dr. Swapna Kumar is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Educational Technology Program at the School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, USA. She has over 15 years of experience in teaching, technology integration, professional development, and training evaluation. Her teaching and research interests include the use of Web 2.0 technologies to supplement classroom teaching and learning, professional development for teachers and faculty, blended learning, online course design and facilitation, and learning communities.