In fact, instructors who create collaborative environments for students and then just expect the students to take full advantage of those opportunities, are often quite disappointed with the results. The reason for this disappointment is not difficult to find. As mentioned earlier, today’s students are adept users of technology, but they are only rarely adept learners with the technology. As a result, we need to teach them how to make the best use of the opportunities we create for them—how to comment constructively on one another’s work, how to create tagging systems that make sense, how to build communities of practice, not just friend networks. [emphasis added]
I find this nuance often overlooked when stereotyping “the youth” as “good with technology because they grew up with it”.
Growing up with a thing doesn’t necessarily develop the critical perspective that enables great use of technology. (Let’s leave aside another reality: even those who grow up with technology are not necessarily adept at using it.) This critical perspective means thinking about not how to use technology, yes, but also about when and why to do so. You can’t just thrust a “familiar” tool on somebody and expect novel applications. Such applications require critical thinking, too.