“Digital Natives” and learning with the ICTs. The “GenY @ work” research in Ticino, Switzerland

Emanuele Rapetti, Lorenzo Cantoni


This article presents the route and the historical roots of the successful expression “digital natives” and introduces the critical debate recently arisen to show its limits and the undemonstrated assumptions it is based on. The paper also presents a research conducted in Canton Ticino (Switzerland), whose purpose was to study the use of the ICTs (Information
and Communication Technologies) by the young employees of GenY (people born after 1980).
This research enabled both to better understand the population studied and to observe how some of the assumptions about GenY and digital natives are nothing more than the result of huge generalizations. The results encourage local researches to re-evaluate and consider the limits due to contextual issues.


e-learning; digital natives; generation Y; knowledge society

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20368/1971-8829/386

Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2017 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).