Talk:Digital native

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The paragraph in this article which is critical of the term looks POV. Of course there is bound to be legitimate criticism of the term, but this isn't the right way to write about it in wikipedia. "Not everyone agrees" - okay, sure. Who, exactly? We need references, citing what is said, rather than a list of problems that appear to have been thought of by person editing the article. The second paragraph with the reference to Bennett, Maton & Kervin is better. However there is still an assertion of broad criticism, which a single critical paper is not enough to substantiate. This needs more backup, and if that's not forthcoming the section should be deleted.

I'd say the first paragraph is the one requiring citation--or at least contextualization (addressed to some degree in the second paragraph, yes, but I don't think that's really adequate). It treats the term as though it's an agreed, established category for social analysis, when I suspect the reality is more that it's a bit of early-2000s ephemera; some jargon that advertising and marketing types like to throw around but which certainly shouldn't be presented as a "fact". The critical section should certainly not be deleted. (talk) 14:45, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Book: Born digital[edit]

There's a book, "Born digital - Understanding the first generation of digital natives" (link). Is it the source of the notion of "digital natives"? Should it be included in the literature section? -- (talk) 16:16, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

As we at FTHS continue our investigation into this fascinating concept, we are aware of the importance of all voices...especially those of educators. We need to learn what works, but at the same time, not compromise our standards. Township09 (talk) 14:28, 21 August 2009 (UTC) (talk) 14:20, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

It may also be useful to look at some of Don Tapscott's work too. The book Growing Up Digital and Grown Up Digital certainly make contributions to the debate around Digit; Natives, though there's plenty in there for those who might argue a more nuanced situation. Illuminatusds; talk 10:18, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Digital Immigrant[edit]

If there is some evidence, that digital natives exist - which I doubt heavily - then it might be valid to add some entry for the digital immigrant. BUT until the controverse points of view if something like a digital native even exists (besides the publications of mr. prensky) I would prefer to keep this article clean of any speculations like the existence of digital imigrants. This is why I deleted the sentence

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".

--L'g. (talk) 08:36, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I would like to add, that the definition for a digital immigrant seem so wishiwashi that no one even would take into account citing this. Growing up without digital technology seems like the standards procedure of every human life. No one grows up beeing in a way "wired" right away from his/her first deep breath. But, if every person on this planet becomes a digital immigrant at some point intime after his/her birth, than we would all be digital immigrants, right?

Giving something a label to differentiate it from other things is the core essence of using a label. but if this label labels everything, a label gets useless - and so is the term digital immigrant from my POV. --L'g. (talk) 08:46, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

these metaphors should be only included if contextualized properly. they are an expression of clumsyness and ineptness in digital culture. no hacker, programmer or webdesigner would call himself a "digital native" or "digital immigrant". it is also a sign of a lack of knowledge or respect towards the real conditions of migration and indigenous culture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:16, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Given the definition here, the developers of the Internet and the web would be "digital immigrants." The analogy just doesn't stretch well. Jonl (talk) 18:19, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

It may be that the use of the term was useful rhetorically when it was first used. John Perry Barlow used the terms immigrants and natives in a 1995 interview when he was in Australia: "I would say that, generally speaking, at this stage, if you're over 25, you're an immigrant. If you're under 25 you're closer to being a native, in terms of understanding what it is and having a real basic sense of it." [1] But I agree the term is simply too crude to be a useful way to talk about any subset of users. Cjgc13 (talk) 03:11, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but a digital native is defined in my inferior opinion as someone who either: played a part in invention of the cyberspace as we know it (most below 55 have, and the creator of C can be called one too due to his extreme infatuation with computers), or has grown up with the ability to access computers from the day they could write. JJhashisreasons (talk) 14:58, 15 June 2012 (UTC)


Is this area necessary or does it contribute anything at all? The third paragraph at the very least seems to be sensationalist and very biased, in addition to making very little sense, and should probably be removed. (talk) 06:51, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

I'd agree with taking out the third paragraph; it isn't supported at all. But I think there should be a section for the opposing viewpoints and criticisms with sources like in the second paragraph. Take a look at the criticism section in Constructivism (learning theory). This has lots of sources and extensive criticism (and responses to criticism) because the research isn't clear cut. This article doesn't need anything quite that big, but something for balance would be good. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 11:26, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
The Discourse section definitely needs a clean-up. Unfortunately, I don't have journal access. There are citations available at the Mark Prensky page in the Criticisms section. Unfortunately, I can't in good conscience cite something I haven't read and I don't have journal access. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:33D0:EF40:852F:18E:16A2:B7BB (talk) 15:24, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Additionally, a lot of the conflict in the Discourse section seems to stem from a false dichotomy between natives and immigrants. Natives and immigrants are discussed to death, but what of the settlers? For instance, paragraph two:

"The term digital immigrant overlooks the fact that many people born before the digital age were the inventors, designers, developers and first users of digital technology and in this sense could be regarded as the original 'natives'"

According to my reading of the article, these people are settlers - not immigrants. The article defines settlers as people who "grew up in an analog-only world, they have helped to create and shape the digital worlds contours." Thus, the "inventors, designers, and first users of digital technology" would be settlers, not natives
I know we all love a good debate but c'mon guys, there's no need for it here.
JamesOpenshaw (talk) 01:52, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Rushkoff and Barlow[edit]

Prensky didn't come up with the theory, as he acknowledges here: (link) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Just a reminder, there isn't an actual theory of "digital nativeness", it's just a term. Da9iel (talk) 18:11, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Earlier use than 2001[edit]

In the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace from 1996 there is a sentence: "You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants" [1]. So, evidently, the native-immigrant-analogy has been present before 2001. Should we add this to the article? Are there maybe also other source earlier than 2001 that include this analogy? --Tobias (Talk) 09:24, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

ADD and ADHD connection[edit]

I'd like to add a reference to what led Prensky to popularize the term, namely the explosion in ADD and ADHD diagnosed children in the early '90s. His use of the term was an attempt to explain young people who were having a harder and harder time learning via traditional teaching methods, and he reasoned that the "always on", media saturated world of the '90s was to blame. While I'm actually kind of on board with this idea (that media overload leads to ADD), I think it's really very bad that he chose the word "digital" as a label, because the media saturation that young people experienced starting in the mid-80s really had nothing to do with computers, and everything to do with technologies like the VCR, cable television, and the CD. A typical child born in 1980 would not have had a significantly different relationship with digital technology from a person born in 1970, but would have had greater access to media at an early age due to the massive surge in its availability in the '80s.

I'd also like to add that most, if not all, of the earlier uses of the "digital native" metaphor were done with some artistic license, and were derivative in tone (deliberately, I believe) of the Hacker Manifesto of 1986.

If there aren't any objections, I'd like to start adding this to the page. Da9iel (talk) 19:07, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Nat Tunbridge (1995) The Cyberspace Cowboy. Australian Personal Computer, September, 2-4.