The debate on Digital Natives vs Digital Immigrants has been going on for a while now. This is our contribution from the viewpoint of what engages digital natives, published in new edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences.
Surveying the research literature, we present findings as to what pursuits digital natives find interesting, motivating, and involving in both informal and formal learning environments drawing upon motivation theories of flow and engagement.
Our conclusion, in this article, is that adolescents’ ways of engaging in using digital technologies are heterogeneous; a minority of young persons has access to parental or peer support and facilitation that engagement in creative use of digital technologies together with their own motivation and efforts may require. Although sociodigital technologies facilitate creating and maintaining extended networks, cultivating technological fluency, and participating in passionate interest communities and networks, there are worrisome trends; these include ‘addictive’ use of technology, fragmented processing of information, and ‘digital divides’ between creative and educational use of sociodigital technologies.
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