Experience or Age? Long-Range Changes in Digital Thinking Skills: A Follow-Up Study

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In order to investigate the nature of changes in digital literacy through time and the factors that affect these changes, the present paper follows-up on Eshet-Alkalai & Amichai-Hamburger's (2004) empirical study of digital literacy among different age groups, focusing on the question whether changes in digital literacy are age-dependent or a result of experience with technologies. In the present study, the different digital literacy skills of the same participants of Eshet-Alkalai & Amichai-Hamburger, were tested five years later and compared to a new control group. Results indicate a significant improvement in performance in the photo-visual and lateral literacy skills among all age groups, especially with the adults. On the other hand, information literacy of all participants dropped dramatically. Our results suggest that life-long changes in digital literacy probably result from experience with technology and not from cognitive development. Moreover the data suggest that mere exposure to information, without mastering appropriate cognitive tools for critical thinking, hinder the beneficial components of experience with respect to information literacy.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationהאדם הלומד בעידן הטכנולוגי: כנס צ'ייס השלישי השנתי למחקרי טכנולוגיות למידה
Publisherהאוניברסיטה הפתוחה ושה"ם
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2008


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