Digital leisure-time activities, cognition, learning behaviour and information literacy: What are our children learning?

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Recent developments in digital technology have resulted in the unprecedented uptake of digital technology engagement as a leisure-time pursuit across the age span. This has resulted in the speculation that such use of digital technology is responsible for changes in cognition and learning behaviour. This study investigated two groups of school-aged learners (10-12 years) differentiated by their digital immersions level (n = 48), defined by their scores on a leisure-time digital immersion questionnaire. The study's general aim was to explore cognitive and educational differences between the two groups. Each group completed tests of attention and reasoning (verbal and non-verbal) and took part in two educational tasks where their learning behaviours were observed. Findings indicated that high digital leisure-time immersion is predictive of attentional inconsistency and that high digital consumption behaviour is predictive of low literacy levels. Further, low digital immersion females and high immersion males perform poorly for an Internet research task. However, all students were poor with regard to digital information literacy skills. The results give rise to two recommendations for parents and educators of our millennial children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-28
Number of pages16
JournalE-Learning and Digital Media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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