Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Anna Smith


Students in today’s public school system are bombarded with technology at an early age. These students are expected to learn from technology, but they are often not taught to use the technology. It is a common belief that these students are fully immersed in a world of laptops, tablets, and cell phones before entering the school system and are already prepared to use the technology at school. Evidence to prove devices for each student are beneficial is severely lacking, yet many schools across the United States have adopted the one-to-one program, providing either a tablet, laptop, or other device for every student. This study reports the perception of business and technology teachers regarding the technology aptitude of students in grades 6-12. The primary aim was to answer this question: Does the assumption of technical knowledge in digital natives lead to a demonstrated skill gap for today’s students? In context, digital natives is a term coined by Mark Prensky for individuals who have only lived in a world of digital media. The participants were six business and technology teachers from the Midwest. Three teachers were junior high teachers and three were high school teachers. This qualitative research data was collected via one-on-one virtual interviews. The results indicate that by junior high, students use technology in the classroom regularly, yet students are displaying skill gaps such as inefficiencies in use of the keyboard and time management, overconfidence in multitasking, and even deficiencies in morals such as cheating. Further research is needed to confirm the results and to identify other factors that could strengthen the effectiveness of these campaigns.


Imported from Borowiak_ilstu_0092N_11801.pdf


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