John Palfrey and Urs Gasser are presenting a session on “Digital Natives”, which is a research project they have been engaged in for some time. The book that has emerged from their research, Born Digital, is complete and will be published this summer.

If you want to follow at home (no stream for this bit), the best way might be the Question Tool, where the ‘myths’ that are at the heart of their discussion are included and questioned. Find it here. We in the room (the overwhelming majority of whom are using Macs…not just digital natives but digital connoisseurs, according to sc1olist on the conference IRC channel), are using this page too.

I will update this post with notes at frequent intervals in the true live-blogging spirit.

Below: liveblogging, updated approx every two-three minutes

Gasser – the generation we are talking about, born around or after 1980. We are making some assumptions – that they have access to the Internet, that they know how to use the technology. So it’s a segment of the population, not an entire generation. We’re studying *how* they are using the Internet.

The layers: descriptive (along with other researchers around the world, describing what’s happening and in particular what has changed); analytical; evaluative (e.g. what new opportunities emerge? but also challenges?); prescriptive

(Room is filling up here – pretty close to capacity – and an interesting spread across the natives and non-natives!)

Urs now talking about methodology – so far, there’s been quite a focus on case studies but there is a trend towards serious empirical work. This is a challenge for descriptive layer in particular. For analysis, an important thing is figuring out the relationship with theory. For evaluative, the question is that of values – particular the problem where “not everyone shares the same values” in the global Internet.

Now looking @ methodology in more detail (Miriam Simun from the projects). They’ve tried to ensure spread of things like socio-economic background etc.

Now scanning through the myths, which you can find on the question tool, so check them out. Alternatively, there’s a list here. I think they should have presented this like a Letterman Top Ten 😉

John Palfrey is on his feet, reminiscing about making the classroom we’re in (Langdell North) wired, and members of faculty turning them off again. Should a classroom be on the network while teaching a class? Differing views from the participants. Issues raised – respect? concentration? teaching skills? theories on pedagogy?

JP Rangaswami talks about the use of technology in an environment where there is peer pressure, based on his work in the UK.

Indeed, this conversation has continued. One thing that interests me is that I am debating the issues in the backchannel and the issues being raised are quite different, which is a nice case study of the value of simultaneous multimodal ‘class’ participation. I believe the discussion there is being archived and posted somewhere and will link to it when it’s there here it is, thanks Alex!

Another issue that has come up from a few different people is the value of having “screen down time” – i.e. telling people to ‘pay attention’ or is there more to it than that?

Coming towards the end now. Palfrey recommends the MacArthur Foundation / MIT Press series on Digital Media and Learning, which is available through open access online.