Do Digital Natives Exist ?

Prensky (2001,pg. 2) describes ‘Digital Natives’ as “native speakers” of the digital language. Prensky (2001) categorises these people this way because of their knowledge and ability to use different forms of technology such as; computers, video games and cell phones etc. According to Prensky (2001) students K-12 and through to college, have grown up with technology all around them, and therefore uses this generation to categorise them as ‘Digital Natives’.

Prensky (2001) is convinced that all students (K-12 through to college) grew up around ‘new technology’ and are slowly disregarding older sources. “Today’s average college grads have spent fewer than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV” Prensky (2001). However, I somewhat disagree. Although I believe that ‘Digital Natives’ do exist, with the development of technology, I don’t believe that all students entirely make up this group. This is because not all people have access to technology. People who are poor and families who don’t allow their children to access technology need to be taken into consideration. Therefore, people who were born in this generation aren’t necessarily ‘Digital Natives’, instead it is those who were brought up using new technology.

In addition, Prensky (2001) introduces the idea of ‘Digital Immigrants’ where older generations are learning the ‘new language’ of the digital world. “Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language (that of the pre-digital age), are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language”. I believe that Digital Immigrants are very well aware of the development of technology, and because of this are slowly trying to learn this ‘new language’. Prensky (2001) also believes that the difference in languages is becoming a problem in the education department, and I agree with this as teachers are unable to keep up with student’s knowledge of technology, because their understanding of technology is ‘out-dated’ Prensky (2001, pg.3).

References :

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. Retrieved from: (2017). Saturday Well Spent. Retrieved from:

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