Teach42 has captured a hilarious cartoon about digital natives, a term coined by Marc Prensky. This is reminding me of the Digital Natives project that I first heard about at Games For Change and someone mentioned this past weekend at podcamp. There is an excellent section on Information Overload, but my brain is too full at the moment to read it.
Getting back to the digital natives, Stephen Downes points to George Siemens' post on digital natives. Siemens suggests that Prensky's thesis that technology use chasms are purely generational is crap. Siemens writes about some other recent research and draws these conclusions:
I recently attended a workshop byand Karen Pegler. They presented research they were conducting at U of Calgary on the distinction between learners based on age. They found that individuals involved in work-based tasks had very similar technology use rates. However, when outside of the workplace, the younger generation was more likely to use technology for social means. While the research is emerging, I draw a few quick conclusions:
- Technology use is determined by context, not by age
- Our peer-group influences the manner in which we use technology for socialization
I think that is true - given that my technology use profile indicates I should half my age.
At the end of the post, Siemens' points over to a linke fromto Jamie McKenzie's article on and says it is a critique of Prensky well worth reviewing. Jamie McKenzie's From Now On site was my favorite site when I started teaching teachers and nonprofits about using the Internet in the early 1990's. It is refreshing to revisit your favorites from over a decade ago and still enjoy their writing.
The corporate/business perspective on this here.
UPDATE: Just discovered Connie Bensen's excellent blog and her post about How Digital Natives Will Impact the Workplace.
And, on the flip side, "Is Email Just for Old Folks?"