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Digital Natives

Lingo Cards

Digital native = A person for whom digital technologies already existed when they were born, and hence has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3s.

This page is explores the concepts of digital natives and digital migrants with the understanding that any gaps, confusion or misunderstandings, can be used as a platform for learning.

Presentations I made in New Zealand in 2007 set me on the road of understanding the new digital divide – that which allegedly places those both with certain technolgies apart from those who have different life stories.

These presentations highlighted the value of the social web was well-received by the then under 40 crowd who understood the value of the new interactive web as a critical tool in developing effective conservation and tourism. They, in turn, introduced me to the concept of ‘Digital Natives’ and afterward I began to find links to Generation Y and Millenials.

Confused? I am. These terms draw a lot of naysayers. I find myself on more comfortable turf when I address the challenge of raising digital literacy. Here we find ourselves — all of us — on the learning curve. And if we can articulate outcomes we’d like to achieve, then becoming literate in the digital realm requires collaboration of the kind that connects us all (without having to identify as natives or migrants).

Migrants remember the 12 and 20 image rolls of film. Natives enjoy an all-you-can-digital photograph smorgasbord.

Teaching people – and particularly young people – how to take a lot of photos and deleting 90% is the challenge in the digital age of photography

We recommend the creation of activities such as photo safaris that encourage information sharing among people of different ages and with different technical abilities.

Recommended listening
The myth of multitasking
The digital classroom
I scream, you scream, we all scream for screen time: peering through the eyes of digital natives – Analog parents and digital kids – the new generation gap and how to bridge it.

The Machine is Us/ing Us

Digital Natives
Digital natives in the classroom – EET
Digital natives blog
Digital tools for digital students – Apple
Digital native – Wikipedia
Digital native
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants – Timothy VanSlyke
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants – Marc Prensky (PDF)


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