Digital Interaction: Learning and social communication in the information age

Christopher Boyle, Gerald Wurf

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter


Schools are not immune to the increase in 'virtual communication' and the decrease in face-to-face interaction amongst young people in today's millennium generation. Thispaper discusses the positives and negatives of digital communication and how this affects the current generation of school students who are regarded as being 'digital natives'. Recent findings seem to suggest that this group is just as literate as previous generations and new avenues to engaging students in a digital learning environment should be pursued by educationalists. Findings are discussed whereby even though this current time period would be regarded as being of a digital communication revolution, students still report that they would rather learn in order of group work, practical work, and then learning by digital technology.The face-to-face interaction is still valued despite the abundance of online communication. Students who are socially awkward or shy, who have had difficulties with face-to-face communication in the past are now embracing the online world of social interaction. It is suggested that, possibly counter-intuitively, this can lead to a commensurate rise in face-to-face social interaction skills. 'Can online networking replace the 'real' thing?' is a difficult question to answer but as evolution in digital technology takes place at an alarming rate, it may not be too long before we have an understanding as to how much damage or indeed improvement to human interactions will occur as a result of increasing online social interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation for a Digital World 2.0 Innovations in Education
EditorsSandy Hirtz, Kevin Kelly
Place of PublicationVancouver, BC
PublisherMinistry of Education/Open Schools BC
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780772664884
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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