digital natives need tech support too

Seems like digital natives want more tech support than they’re getting in an academic context. The quote that stood out for me:

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,” said William Rieders, executive vice president of global new media for Cengage Learning.

This reminds me of all the debates surrounding nonnative speakers of English in academic contexts — specifically, how there’s a whole population that’s fluent in conversational English, but that doesn’t mean they’re conversant with academic English (in fact, their conversational fluency may mask real difficulty with the demands classes make upon English proficiency). Looks like the same thing here — because we see people who have these everyday, conversational uses of technology, we may overpresume their grasp of more sophisticated tech skills.

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