Prensky’s Digital Native/Digital Immigrant Dichotomy: A Critique
Abstract: Over the past decade, much has been written about the technology skills, preferences and experiences of students. A common theme within this discourse is that current generations of students, specifically university students, are more competent and capable in using information computer technologies (ICT) as compared to previous generations (Bennet, Maton, & Kervin, 2008). Prensky (2001), in his article on Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, provides a unique yet problematic construct in which to view this discourse. He asserts that change in education is required because higher educational institutions are not meeting the needs of a new generation of “tech-savvy” students. Using Dewey’s discussion on duality as a guide, I will examine different critics’ arguments about Prensky’s digital native, digital immigrant construct. Particular attention will be given to how Prensky’s dichotomy promotes a strong technological determinist argument that oversimplifies the nature of students’ use of technology for learning.
Presider: Aroutis Foster, Drexel University