Marc Prensky’s article ’Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants’ is an example of the mental divide between the teachers of old, called Digital Immigrants, and the students of the digital generation, called Digital Natives. Digital Native behaviour is causing the methods of teachers to be unsuccessful against the mindsets of Digital Natives, who consider teachers to not be interesting. The article also brings up issues surrounding digital citizenship and people and machines.

 

I will argue against Digital Native behaviour. Digital natives have disrupted the tried and true workflow of past generations. Whether it be their obstruction of a step by step process by skipping ahead or completing in random order, missing out crucial steps or their lack of attention during important lectures that would provide them with crucial information, Digital Natives have chosen to ignore the teachings that have worked so well for us in the past, all in the name of speed and technology.

 

Firstly, the school I go to is already accustomed to the ways of Digital Immigrants but has kneeled before the Digital Natives in specific areas such as typing up notes, using games to teach certain topics and allowing for students to follow a less streamlined approach to problems. However, these changes are only tolerance so that the students can follow in the footsteps of the Digital Immigrants that designed the school system before them who wrote on books, followed step by step instructions, only spoke if directly spoken to etc. Schools were designed with their students following rules and instructions in mind so diverting from the methods given to follow said instructions is akin to not following the instructions to begin with, therefore compromising the sch0ol system that was built before the students, for the students.

 

Secondly, Digital Immigrants were the pioneers of the technology that Digital Natives use, and therefore have a much better grasp on the tools that technology can provide you. They are the ones that teach you how to use and protect yourself from technology and online platforms. Digital immigrants run most technology-based businesses around the world. But the Digital Natives don’t care. They were born with the hard-work of the Digital Immigrants and used their products in ways that were completely unintentional and often less traditional. Most Digital Natives used digital documents to write notes more often than they write essays or documents, giving up all the benefits that were made to assist essay and document writing for something that can and has been done on paper. Digital Natives use social platforms such as Facebook to post ‘memes’ instead of share their experiences with their friends as Facebook was intended. Digital Natives often give up the benefits of many applications to use them for something else entirely, and then ask for support because it didn’t work.

 

Both of my parents would be considered Digital Immigrants, and despite my father agreeing with the definition, he is also completely against Digital Natives growing up surrounded by the technology of Digital Immigrants. My father strongly believes in the habits of Digital Immigrants, printing off documents, calling people to make sure they received his email, collecting CDs instead of streaming music etc.

 

Despite my argument, I personally firmly believe in Digital Native behaviour. In a time where information is more important and accessible than ever before, students must learn more efficient methods of identifying crucial information to avoid information overload. Digital Natives are masters in this, which is why the filler information of many lectures bores them because it’s not useful. Over the next few years, it can be expected that Digital Native behaviour will be of utmost importance, as it will be more and more necessary to find the most useful information possible as fast as possible in order to maintain maximum efficiency. The argument of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants will only resolve itself when one side can prove itself the most effective indisputably, and that date appears to be arriving soon with most people now working at home amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

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