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Digital Natives And Digital Immigrants Essay Thesis

Digital Immigrants, Digital Natives: Myth or Reality? Essay

1040 Words5 Pages

Firstly recorded in the report of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) survey in 1995, (Servon, 2002), the term Digital Divide presents an interesting quandary of information and communication technologies (ICT) disparities among countries in the world, especially between developed and developing countries. Many reports even showed that access to ICT in these information “have” and “have-nots” countries was unequally even (, 2001; Fuchs & Horak, 2008; Norris, 2001 ; Van Dijk, 2009). Nonetheless, though inequities in access to ICT are most evident across countries, the same pattern is found within the countries themselves. In the U.S, for example, the gap in ICT access does exist…show more content…

In my poster, I used an image of old lady from Swongled Media (2008) to represent the concept of digital immigrants. Prensky (2001a, p. 8 ), in his first article “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants”, describes this term as those older generations “who were not born into the digital world”. After years of living in “pre-digital lifestyles” (Selwyn, 2009, p. 369 ), the digital immigrants have been transformed into a group of “asylum seekers” in digital media world (Byne & Ross, 2007, p. 4 ). It means that these older people are forced to adapt if they really want to be connected. Likewise, even though some of digital immigrants can use technology, most of them still consider it as “something foreign” (Kennedy et al., 2008). Consequently, the digital immigrants may find online experience “anarchic, superficial and/or threatening” (Dufresne & Bethke, 2005), due to their entrenched value in traditional discourse of information gathering. O’Hara and Steven (2006, p. 88) even claims that the digital immigrants require more attention due to their ICT skills which are “second hand, slightly forced and has to be learned”. In other words, digital immigrants are seen as groups of people who are older and less familiar as well as uncomfortable with technology. Following to that, the divergent notion of digital immigrants is digital natives. I portrayed this concept by using an image from Rachel

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Prensky states that the students in our classrooms are much more different than the people who are in front of the classroom teaching in terms of how they learn and the ways in which they are able to take in information. He gave the two different groups of people different titles; digital immigrants, and digital natives. Immigrants being those people who were not born in a time when technology was not readily available to use at all times and have had to learn over time how to use it. As compared to now, when the use of technology is readily available to the children born, the natives. The natives have been exposed to the use of technology from early on in life and need this to thrive in our school setting.

Another main point that Prensky makes is that there needs to be a switch in the way in which educators teach because students are losing out due to the “old fashioned” methods of teaching which are still being used today. For example, many teachers primarily use the text as their mode of instruction and the natives get “bored” and are not learning the lessons to their full extent.

One final point that Prensky makes is that digital immigrant teachers are able to reach digital native students with some work and effort. He makes several attempts to show how the typical classroom lesson that would be taught by a digital immigrant could be taught to be more appealing to a digital native. I think that overall the switch from the typical lecture based lesson to a more digital native user friendly format is happening more and more across the U.S. and will continue as more resources and ideas become available and ideas are shared.

I consider myself a digital native as I have been exposed to and used computers and other technology based things my entire life. In my current job situation, I was one of three teachers in our district to try out the use of iPads in our classrooms and report back as to what our opinions were on the use of these in a classroom setting. Being a younger teacher in a school that is made up primarily of older (immigrant) teachers, it can be hard to try and convince them of all the beneficial uses of something such as an iPad that many see as only a game or another gadget/toy. I think our district will be implementing the use of iPads in all/most of the classrooms sometime in the near future, but I know it will take some more convincing or some proof that these “gadgets” actually are beneficial to the students learning.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, Retrieved from

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