Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants: How do We Rate?
Abstract: Many studies have been conducted to define and understand computer users based on age. Often called Digital Natives, those under the age of 32 are thought to have computer skills superior to those 32 and older. This paper represents research to gain understanding of peoples’ self-rating of computer skills in contrast to those that are older or younger. The research also seeks to explain actual ability of users as compared to self-rating of same. The preliminary study indicates that Digital Natives tend to rate themselves as better computer users than Digital Immigrant and conversely, Digital Immigrants tend to believe that Digital Natives are more adept at technology than themselves. Preliminary findings show that although young people are adept at using technology socially and for entertainment, they are less able than older people to use computers for meaningful work, i.e. schoolwork and/or computer use in one’s position in a company.