Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants: Myth or Reality?

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Citation of Original Publication

Rikhye, Ravi; Cook, Sean; Berge, Zane L.; Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants: Myth or Reality?; International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning 6,2 (2009);


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Marc Prensky (1998; 2001a; 200b) argues that students today, digital natives as he calls them, having grown up in the Digital Age, learn differently from their predecessors, or digital immigrants as he terms them. As such, the pedagogical tools we use to educate the Natives are outdated. Intuitively it seems that Prensky is correct: few people who teach digital natives fail to note their students seem to think and learn differently. Attractive as this thesis is, there is little evidence to support the proposition. That does not mean Prensky is wrong. He is onto something, perhaps something seminal, regarding today’s pedagogies and the need to change them. But further research is required before we can conclude with any certainty that digital natives learn differently.