Perhaps too much has been made of generational difference in the way technology has been used. And, perhaps there is a confusion between comfort level and productivity.
A research study just released concludes:
The first ever virtual longitudinal study carried out by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search engines, view rather than read and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web.
The group responsible for this study intends to track individuals longitudinally. The group also seems to contend that bad scholarship is like a disease – the rest of us are catching it from our students (I made the part about the disease model up – the group says no such thing, but they do observe that similar patterns are emerging across generations).
(pdf explaining the research and intent of the group is available to those in which the problem has not progressed past the point of no return – read while you still can) 😉
BTW- the details in the pdf are a little sparse. This is more of an issue piece, but the issues are interesting and linked to some research.