Home » E-Learning » On stopping the use of unqualified and ridiculous terms such as ‘Digital Native’ and ‘Digital Immigrant’

On stopping the use of unqualified and ridiculous terms such as ‘Digital Native’ and ‘Digital Immigrant’

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The ‘visitor’ vs. ‘resident’ differentiation rings true and is based on sound research. Prensky’s original ideas of the ‘digital native’ have no foundation at all either in his own research (he did none) or even on an academic literature research. I look forward to returning to the papers, notes and discussions on this that I have in this blog – even showing how I went from naive believer to outright objector.

If you read most of Prensky’s output as I have now done you will either be horrified or laugh or cry at the absurd statements that he makes and the truly ridiculous attempts at ‘cod’ academic writing where references are, to put it bluntly, complete buncum. He will quote, as if it counts, the very words used by Spock in an episode of Star Trek … and give this as a footnote and reference as if watching the episode yourself will in anyway qualify his argument, or he will quote someone and say, ‘Mr Smith from England writing to The Times’ as if this is a recognised and accepted way to reference – there is rarely any opportunity to check the references he offers – I’ve tried often and repeatedly fail. He gained an MA from Harvard, he states, but rarely reaches the most basic academic standards in much of his writing. Take a close look at ‘Teaching Digital Natives’ – it is counterproductive and will go against anything teachers have been taught. He is rightfully accused of hyperbole and scaremongering. Because he is controversial it does spark debate. There have been too many ‘catchy phrases’ regarding eLearning. There are now many research papers, by senior, experienced academics and their teams who repeat their research with students every few years. There has never been a ‘digital native’ – they are as illusive as the yeti. Invaluable to try and define different user types when it comes to technology, but it is as complex as any grouping, tagging or labelling of people can be.

Comment from Bren

LOL! I’m currently reading Digital natives: where is the evidence? (Helsper & Eynon for E891)

I simply don’t see the younger gen as being natives. I supplied in an ICT lesson just before Christmas & found myself explaining stuff to older teenagers and at the extreme, I might just about be old enough to be their granny….. just don’t tell me how to suck eggs!

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