Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
The use of digital technologies
Developments in information and communication technologies have raised the issue of the intergenerational digital divide that can take place between “digital natives” and “digital immigrants”. Despite emphatic claims concerning how educational systems must take into account the specific characteristics of “digital natives”, sound empirical research on these topics is lacking, especially for Europe. This paper presents the results of research performed during the course of 2008, studying how university students in Italy use digital technologies. The research is based on a survey of 1086 undergraduate students at the University of Milan-Bicocca, complemented by focus groups and in-depth interviews. The results of our research show that, even if university students are familiar with digital technologies, the general possession of high level skills in accessing and using the Internet should not be taken for granted.