About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 7826 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.1832

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

ARE DIGITAL NATIVES REAL? EXPLORING THE MYTHS AND REALITIES OF THE DIGITAL NATIVE EXISTENCE

R. Blankenship

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (UNITED STATES)
At the turn of the 21st century, one could analogize the rapid emergence of new technologies as the “industrial revolution” of our time. As cell phones turned into smart phones, laptops turned into tablets, and “you’ve got mail” evolved into current Twitter hashtags, there emerged a pressing need to re-imagine our language to match and identify how these trends were changing the ways in which we communicate and interact using these new and evolving technologies. To that end, in 2001, Marc Prensky coined the phrases digital native and digital immigrant to classify users of emerging technologies according to when they became active users of such technologies. Prensky identified “natives” as end-users who were born into the current digital age or brought up during its early stages. “Immigrants” are described as those end-users who, essentially, migrated into the digital world – those users who turned in their pagers for smart phones as if they were replacing candles with electric lights.

Adding to the definitional issues surrounding who should be identified as a “digital native” is the lack of empirical research-based evidence that such a generation of students actually exists. Further complicating the definitional arena are the suggestions in some studies that, while students use different technologies for different educational and social purposes, those uses may not translate to classroom practice, thus providing the case for the argument here that they form “secret communities” specifically to address this gap. Waycott, et al. (2010) suggest that students tend not to intermingle the technologies they use for personal use versus technologies they associate with classroom instruction, further complicating the conclusions of studies that have suggested that the digital native learns best only when immersed in an instructional setting that maximizes currently trending technologies. In order to arrive at a justification for a pedagogic paradigm shift driven by currently trending technologies, there must be some consensus in basic terminology moving forward. Taking into consideration the fact that the empirical evidence of the true existence of a digital divide among so-called natives and immigrants is still emerging, for the purposes of the writing here, the postulation will be that there is a distinction. As such, Prensky’s (2001) terminology will be referenced while keeping in mind that the definition is problematic and does not necessarily account for the myriad of cultural, economic, psychological, and social nuances that factor into the technology choices made by the 21st century teacher candidate. The purpose of this paper is to more closely examine the definitional parameters of "digital natives" and "digital immigrants" to determine the validity of such distinctions.
@InProceedings{BLANKENSHIP2017ARE,
author = {Blankenship, R.},
title = {ARE DIGITAL NATIVES REAL? EXPLORING THE MYTHS AND REALITIES OF THE DIGITAL NATIVE EXISTENCE},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.1832},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.1832},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {7826}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Blankenship
TI - ARE DIGITAL NATIVES REAL? EXPLORING THE MYTHS AND REALITIES OF THE DIGITAL NATIVE EXISTENCE
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.1832
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 7826
EP - 7826
ER -
R. Blankenship (2017) ARE DIGITAL NATIVES REAL? EXPLORING THE MYTHS AND REALITIES OF THE DIGITAL NATIVE EXISTENCE, INTED2017 Proceedings, p. 7826.
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