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Prensky (2001) introduced the term "digital native" to the education community a decade ago. Some people have taken issue with the concept. Others have embraced the term, making Prensky's work foundational to understanding the landscape of teaching and learning in the contemporary world. Where do you stand? Do digital natives exist?
If digital natives are people who were immersed in particular digital technologies during their formative years, then yes, they exist. The challenge is that they may see these same technologies as "natural"--and that they may not be as skilled, self-aware, or critical in their use of the technologies as we might assume they would be. (Maybe their like fish in water that way....)
I think it is convenient to create a term to define a population such as digital natives. However, just like any other group name, it is both a stereotype in that is simplifies the population into something that is easier to understand. Thus the argument supporting the issue is that it allows us to define an otherwise undefined group. Arguments against is that it stifles the populations within that group to certain expectations.
I agree that "digital natives" do have an advantage when it comes to being capable with new technologies. However, I believe that learning these skills are not that complicated. People born in a "digital age" have become more reliant and thus more dependent on these technologies. However, their dependency leaves them with a higher awareness of how to use it.
The points presented by Prensky on Digital Natives are very well taken and resonate with me. Some of his points could hold some validity; however, I am still skeptical and would like to further investigate the evidence. Technological advancements have take the world by storm and it appears to be evolving and changing daily. The term Digital Natives maybe describing a phenomenon that is occurring that no one has been able to grab yet, due to the recent and fairly new literature.
The idea of associating any specific time (born after 1960s) with the concept makes it questionable or too simplistic. The digital world is a continuously evolving space and being a native suggests that you will also be growing with it. Does it really happen with people?
Digital Technology started in 60's, thats right but its developing always. Many evolutionary inventions have been made in this decade or last and may be some more outstanding ones will be made near future. So who are born in recent years are also growing up with learning and using these technologies may be without knowing it. So its all about the definition of the term "Digital Natives". If its bounded in some particular 'time line'.. it doesn't EXIST.
The term "digital native" is misleading and constructs false assumptions that older generations hold less knowledge/intellect and are less capable relative to younger generations who have merely automatically been immersed into digital technologies.
Digital natives presumes that there is continued access to technology from a young age. This is not the case for all children, and would instead apply more aptly to a subset within the millennial generation.
I think the term Digital Native is misleading because it presumes, mastery over certain technology while the person may only know how to use it in a topical manner. These people may be immersed in certain aspects of the particular technology but to be considered a Digital Native i believe that mastery must be attained in the particular technology.
I believe the term "digital native" is not defined enough in terms of criteria, level of mastery, and components needed to determine mastery to make the term legitimate.
I agree that the lack of a definition is an issue. It would make more sense to have a continuum of levels of mastery. The pace in which technology is moving and expanding leads me to believe that what is cutting edge technology today is obsolete tomorrow. Some form of digital technology has been around since the 60's.If we are to align ourselves with a static definition, we have no way to identify users of the ever expanding new technologies.