It is sometimes asserted that while students are using web 2 tools extensively there is no evidence that they are using them to do deep learning. I believe this assertion should be questioned.
Graham Attwell makes an important point here, which resonates with work done on university students’ use of the Internet for learning by colleagues at Brookes.
The locus of work or study: the context in which the person engages in online activity is far more important than other more accidental attributes of the individual such as their year of birth or their sex. Yes, year cohorts will have different contexts available, but there are adept and critical users of the internet of all ages, just as there are digitally illiterate “digital natives”.
A. J. Cann asked 200 first years, “…to draw a mind map of their personal learning environment (PLE).” The PLE chickens come home to roost
He says, “following what these students were reading on Google Reader and bookmarking on delicious throughout the past term has been a fascinating and for the most part rewarding experience. The students however, hated this task, and comments on the module questionnaire show a complete lack of understanding why reflection on learning might be valuable.”
“Clearly formal education alters a PLE. We just don’t know how, or how much.”