Friday, 30 April 2010

‘Digital natives’ need more IT support

For a while now I've been thinking about how to better support students in their IT skills via peer support. It periodically slips back into my conciousness and it did so yesterday when I saw someone tweet about a piece entitled Survey: ‘Digital natives’ need more IT support.

This quote resonated in particular...
While college students are adept at manipulating complex social-networking tools through their iPhones and BlackBerries, along with video and computer games, “they’re not nearly as proficient when it comes to using digital tools in a classroom setting; this turns the myth that we’re dealing with a whole generation of digital natives on its head,”
“Clearly, students are asking for better guidance, support, and training in using digital tools in the classroom and we, as an industry, need to pay attention and effectively respond to those needs in order to improve engagement and learning outcomes”.
I never did get a satisfactory reply to my email six weeks ago regarding funding for an IT peer support coordinator, so I'm going to try a different tack...


  1. Never fall into the trap of lumping all students (or staff) as one. I've never found a group which did not have a wide range of skills as well as surprising gaps in their abilities. Of course, this pearl of wisdom does not make it easy to deliver "a programme" of training. I guess the answer is to address individuals. But how? That's why you're on the money (or not, in this case) with a "supported peer support" approach to cascade available resources.

  2. PS And the peer support was, I think, your idea. So thanks. And the 'supported peer support' explains the plan even better