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General Chat Thread, 'Digital natives' ?? in General; Just got more AoC spam touting a conference, with the following statement - A new wave of learners is about ...
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    Question 'Digital natives' ??

    Just got more AoC spam touting a conference, with the following statement -

    A new wave of learners is about to hit your college: born in the digital age, fluent in the language of technology, and eager to use it in all parts of their lives.

    Now I don't know about you, but I've yet to see these 'digital natives'. The students generally seem as clueless as the staff when it comes to common sense and IT. Oh they know how to use MySpace et. al. and they can find umpteen copies of Super Mario online but 'digital natives' ? Bit optimistic.

    Discuss. Or not!

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    I think it's a case that most people now know the basics of how to operate a PC, a much higher proportion that when I started as a student in secondary edu 10 years ago. Computers have gone from a minority interest to being much more popular, and more people are comfortable using PCs, but to say that all users have become "power users" is folly, as there are still plenty of people who seem to perform intellectual surrender when put in front of a PC.

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    Joanne's Avatar
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    yeah thats bull poo...

    half of the kids are more interested in the footie or who is going out with who... they don't care about the actual workings of computers, as long as they can check their e-mail and go on msn...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I think it comes down to being comfortable in using the tools presented to them without feeling threatened/scared of them. Plonk a new piece of software in front of the average teacher/person over the age of 40 and you'll be met with fierce opposition, anger, fear etc...

    Plonk a new program in front of a student and they'll know its ins and outs within a few weeks.

    That is the key difference. They are still blind to how a computer actually works though. It is still just a magic box in many minds.

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on what you call define as a 'digital native'. When I first read the OP I thought "My nephew is one of them". Dunno why but the reasoning that appeared was he is totally fine using a computer and carrying out tasks either after being shown once or without being shown at all. Put FF on their machine and my sister asked if I had taken it off a few weeks later. My nephew had decided he didn't like FF & put it back to IE. He is offay (sp?) with youtube (under supervision before anyone comments) and uses Club Penguin (think facebook for toddlers crossed with Miniclip) with no problems. Ohh and he is only just 5. But is that enough to be a digital native. I don't think knowing how a computer works is a requirement as using the digital medium does not need to touch the underlying mechanics. Much as a driver can be perfectly good without knowing how a carb works.

    Interesting discussion point though.

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    This is a swipe from Wikipedia regarding Digital Natives, and says it better than I could,

    "A digital native is a person who has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3. A digital immigrant is an individual who grew up without digital technology and adopted it later. A digital native might refer to their new "camera"; a digital immigrant might refer to their new "digital camera"."


    This is from an essay by Marc Prensky, Digital Immigrants, Digital Natives, though he doesn't claim to have coined the term.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    There is a good educause podcast that looks it from college/uni side. But while I dislike the term they do exist, Key as people said is not liking computers but being at ease with it.

    So mobile phone is the classic example adults read the manual* but digital natives just use it with even looking at the manual.

    Children are coming up from primary schools with basic set of ict skills that they can transfer to any digital medium,

    *this excludes us geeks who say phooey to manuals

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Where does this place people my age then? I grew up with a massively increasing amount of technology. I pretty much never read manuals unless something bizarre happens. But I call a camera a camera and a digital camera a digital camera... Am I just a part of an 'almost native' group of people? Or am I just a geek? :P

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    russdev's Avatar
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    As they say ever rule has an exception and us geeks are it when it comes to digital native rule.

    Russ

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    This is a swipe from Wikipedia regarding Digital Natives, and says it better than I could,

    "A digital native is a person who has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3. A digital immigrant is an individual who grew up without digital technology and adopted it later. A digital native might refer to their new "camera"; a digital immigrant might refer to their new "digital camera"."


    This is from an essay by Marc Prensky, Digital Immigrants, Digital Natives, though he doesn't claim to have coined the term.
    I know someone who may have been the one who coined the digital immigrant term, he's the principal at one of my schools. I didn't investigete throughly but at the time it did appear that he was the first one using it, at least in NZ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    I know someone who may have been the one who coined the digital immigrant term, he's the principal at one of my schools. I didn't investigete throughly but at the time it did appear that he was the first one using it, at least in NZ.
    Anyone you recognize here?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    Anyone you recognize here?
    No, and it wasn't before 2001 so I guess that debunkes his claim. Oh well

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    I heard this term recently too on a course run by Cleo, the context I was given it in was that VLEs are an important stop gap in helping the digital nomads "thats us!" teach the digital natives until the natives are teaching natives.

    Kind of makes sense but its just all buzz words really. Given the chance most kids would rather use computers to play flash games than do work, the technology of education might be changing but simple facts of childhood will take alot longer.

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    The term has been around for a number of years, but the first time I heard it was at a Becta Research Networks conference in 2000, from a very nice chap from Maine. He put me in touch with a few nice folks at Apple ... who put me in touch with the original group of Mac Evangelists ... still seeking for alternatives after Guy Kawasaki had stopped his mailing list 12 months earlier ... they used the phrase 'digitally native' to describe someone as not a 'luser' ... the person you can leave to get on with new technology. It is here that I also first heard terms like 'transferable skills' when talking about not relying on specific applications but giving people the skills to adapt on the fly.

    Although Marc says he coined the term in 2001 to describe a particular group of students, it has been used in different variations for some time, perhaps not in the context of learners though, and not with such a vivid complexity or clear outline of the separation between types of users.

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    This is all very interesting but what do I do with my old 78's ?

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