Understanding the Challenges Confronting Digital Natives Learners and Digital Immigrant Educators


In 2001, futurist Marc Prensky coined the terms ‘DigitalNatives’ and ‘Digital Immigrants’ to distinguish between those who grew up in the digital age, using technology as part of their daily routines, and the older generation of teachers who have to adapt to the way in which these students function.Digital natives are born into the technology of now and grew up integrating it into all facets of their lives.

According to Prensky, digital natives look for more interactive forms of learning than digital immigrants are used to. And digital natives do not use reflection (mental contemplation) as a learning tool the way digital immigrants do.

A digital native is a young person who was born during or after the introduction of digital technology, and who’ve been interacting with digital technology from an early age, and has a better understanding of its concepts.  It is used to refer to people born in the latter 1970s or later, since the Digital Age is said to began at that time. Generally, the term focuses on people who grew up with 21st century modern technology.

Other popular discourse identifies a digital natives as a person who understands the value of digital technology and uses this to seek out opportunities for implementing it with a view to make an impact. Continue reading…

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