Big Ideas 2015

Sue Bennett BIFlarge

PROF. Sue Bennett 


"I want to develop a more holistic understanding of people's technology practices to inform research, practice and policy".

the dangerous idea of the digital native

Young people today are often referred to as ‘digital natives’. The label makes intuitive sense because young people have grown up surrounded by digital technology and seem to be constantly engaged with their computers, phones and other devices. Some have argued that technology has fundamentally changed the way young people learn and that revolutionary change is needed across the education sector to meet the needs of these new learners. These ideas have led to a large body of recent research which, in fact, tells a different story. This research shows that the ways young people use technologies, the things they do with them and their reasons for using them are much more diverse than many once thought. Professor Susan Bennett will argue that this complex reality makes the digital native label much more than just a harmless stereotype. It makes it a dangerous idea.  



Prof. Sue Bennett’s area of expertise is in information and communication technologies in education. Her research investigates how people engage with technology in their everyday lives and in educational settings. She has extensive experience in the design, development and evaluation of multimedia and on-line instructional materials developed for both university and commercial clients. Prior to joining the UOW team, she managed the Interactive Multimedia Unit at Central Queensland University. She previously held positions at Griffith University, the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.

Last reviewed: 7 September, 2015