Monday, August 17, 2009

Digital Native/Immigrant Distinction Not Supported by Evidence

Here's another study that contradicts the widely-held view about the existence of a "digital divide" between so-called digital natives and digital immigrants. Guo, Dobson and Petrina (2008) collected data from over 2,000 pre-service teachers between 2001 and 2004 and concluded:

"there was not a statistically significant difference with respect to ICT competence among different age groups for either pre-program or post-program surveys. This study implies that the digital divide thought to exist between “native” and “immigrant” users may be misleading, distracting education researchers from more careful consideration of the diversity of ICT users and the nuances of their ICT competencies. "

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: An Analysis of Age and ICT Competency in Teacher Education

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Thanks for posting this study; it is good to see research rather than opinion. I'm old enough to be defined as a Prensky "immigrant" but personal experience and observation confirms that attitude and aptitude are more significant than age in technology skills. As a lecturer specialising in e-learning, I'll wave the report at younger students who are captivated by Prensky's divide in their reflections on work-place technology.