Is there A difference between A 2001 Digital Native and A 2017 Digital Native?

What is a Digital Native?

(A Digital Native is someone who is born after the widespread or brought up during the age of digital technology). Individuals are more familiar with any technology such as computers or internet if they are born during the age. The concept is not about a specific generation group, it is more a classification for those individuals who have grown up to use different forms of technology. The belief of individuals being shown technology earlier in life, the more they are inclined to knowing technology as it provides better understanding oppose to those who were not introduced to technology until later on in life (Techopedia, 2016).

To think about life 16 years is a long time, only to know know that I was 5 years old in 2001 and now in 2017 I am 21 years old. It scares me in the fact that time flies so fast and how rapidly technology has changed overtime. ie. new technology smartphone (Iphone X).

Photo credit: Delaney, O. (2013). Flikr.

The image above, displays how much digital technologies have changed from 2001 to 2017. Digital natives in 2001 had huge and wide laptops, Nokia and Erikson mobile phones which were used to transfer messages using predictive text. Individuals used website such as to receive daily news (Oliver Joy, 2016).

However, citizens in 2017 have been brought up with multiple Apple and Samsung products especially the Ipad or Samsung tablets which has replaced laptops. For example, the Iphone is a smartphone, which is lightweight, quick, touch adaption, and instant access to 4G networking. The applications in which individuals use today to get information or news are social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter. These sites allow people to send messages instantly with the use of emoticons and symbols.

Photo credit: MobileApp Daily,. (2017). Flikr.
Digital Natives Vs. Digital Immigrant

Mark Prensky is a believer in the existence of Digital Natives. Natives have the capacity to adapt to new technologies and ‘are used to receiving information fast and efficiently’ (Prensky, 2001) opposed to an immigrant who takes longer to adapt to new technologies. I believe that every teacher should adapt to new technologies to suit the needs of learners by exploring fun integrations and making the classroom setting more interesting. Even though there is differences in each generation and ability to learn new technology, all individuals have the capability to adapt to new and improved technologies. Around the world people learn different things each and everyday and its never to late to learn something new. I witnessed this when I was teaching my Grandma how to use a mobile phone which was difficult, but they know how to use it and impress others in the process of showing technology to friends.


Oliver Joy, C. (2016). What does it mean to be a digital native? — CNN. Retrieved 5 September 2016, from

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1–6. Retrieved from

Techopedia. (2016). Digital Native. Retrieved from

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