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Student uses of technology in learning: two lenses

Student uses of technology in learning: two lenses,10.1108/17415651111125478,Interactive Technology and Smart Education,Margot McNeill,Ming Ming Diao,

Student uses of technology in learning: two lenses  
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Purpose – In their 2007 article, “Miranda in the brave new world: learning in a Web 2.0 millennium”, Barnes and Tynan tell the story of an imaginary British student who uses technology seamlessly to stay connected almost 24×7 with friends, peers and teachers in a global learning environment. Whether she is representative of the majority of university students is a topic of debate in the literature. This paper aims to explore how students use technologies in their everyday lives, whether on- or off-campus, to support their learning. Design/methodology/approach – There were two phases of the study; a photo ethnography to enable a detailed exploration of ten students' technology uses and then a university-wide survey in which 1,104 student responses were gathered. Findings – The findings of both phases of the study suggest that students' use of technologies for their learning and in other facets of their lives is largely conservative, with a predominance of familiar and easy-to-use tools such as e-mail, text and mobile phone. For their learning, their preference is for tools to provide access, efficiency and connectedness. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the development of a better understanding of student issues in the context of their overall IT experience at the university, suggesting a more holistic approach to designing technology infrastructure. There are also insights into the power of mixed methodologies in research, with significant parallels between the qualitative and quantitative results.
Journal: Interactive Technology and Smart Education , vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 5-17, 2011
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