After realising that I didn’t know the ‘proper’ meaning of Digital Native I had a look, and quickly found the origin in a 2001 essay by Marc Prensky, titled Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.
It’s a quick and worthwhile read from an historical point of view, despite a few spurious claims about brain structures physically changing, but more unusually, it’s actually still quite relevant considering how old it is.
In particular, and with direct relation to Fred and Charlottes report, it highlights the need for new pedagogies, not just when it comes to education about digital matters, but also in the ways we educated and talk to people in the post-digital world.
As educators, we need to be thinking about how to teach both Legacy and Future content
in the language of the Digital Natives. The first involves a major translation and change
of methodology; the second involves all that PLUS new content and thinking. It‟s not
actually clear to me which is harder – “learning new stuff” or “learning new ways to do
old stuff.” I suspect it‟s the latter.
Also, while the ‘Digital Immigrant’ term hasn’t been adopted so broadly (referring to those that grew up without computer games, internet access and instant messaging), it too is still relevant in noting ‘accents’ that reveal Digital Immigrants, such as printing out emails to read, or documents in order to edit, rather than just doing it all onscreen.
Comment, discuss or reply on Twitter
Or print, annotate and post it to me at
Suite 47, 372 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LT :)