The idea was that a Digital Native is used to describe a person born into technology, e,g: 1990 onwards. Those who were around for the introduction of 3d games, the switch between dialup and broadband and so on and so forth. A Digital Immigrant, however, is used to describe somebody who did not grow up with such technologies and jumped on the bandwagon miles after it had departed the station. this for example could include your mother, whose perpetual difficulty with sending and receiving emails might annoy you at times, or your father who thinks that(and i quote) “the number 2 should be introduced into binary to speed things up a bit” (no pun intended).

I read this article by Marc Prensky recently and it got me thinking. Is the web designed for the Digital Native? Does a Digital Native necessarily describe all younger people of today’s generation?

I am a digital native, this much I know, and what Marc kindly pointed out is that my generation are experiencing a revolutionary leap forward in technology, for example. The problems that come with this are as follows:

  1. We (as students) are being taught by those who maybe are not fully aware of the technological wonders
  2. We (as students) learn differently to those who did say, 20 to 30 years ago.

We are a very different race to your common-garden teenagers of yester-year. In a case study i recently read, it was revealed that your average gamer has 0.25 faster reaction times and up to 3 times better vision than your average Joe from the 80s. Prensky seems to think that we will learn better with the use of interactive games, I personally agree with him. But leave it to a Digital Native to decide how best to teach a Digital Native.

This brings up another problem. When my generation grows up and become teachers, who is to say that the next generation of students will be completely different what if there is some kind of new revolution. One day i might put it like this. “back in my day if i wanted to send someone an email, i had to type it on a keyboard”

The point is, technology is constantly moving forward. Any attempt to change the way children learn will have to change with the technology that surrounds them.

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