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What actually are a digital native and a digital citizen? By digital native we refer to young people who have grown up surrounded by technology, in fact, the majority of today’s children and teenagers in developed countries can be considered as digital natives. On the other hand digital immigrant refers to people, who have been born in a period of time where technology was not at its peak, and s/he does his best to adapt to this modern world. Today’s young generation speak a totally different language, and rightly, they expect to be understood by everyone.
Some teachers may find this difficult, because they fear that students know more than them when it comes to technology. This should not be the case! Most of them are still at their exploration stage, trying to figure out new technologies and experimenting on their own, and the same should these teachers do. However, it is pointless trying to make the same lesson as twenty years ago, as nowadays they know no other way, and they might easily be bored. We live in a century where in one way or another, you should be connected to the rest of the world, despite your age so adaption is important especially in class.
Natives are comfortable living in such world; they have been accustomed to such. For digital immigrants, the comfort is less; they will surely learn however, the majority will never feel as comfortable as the younger generation who lives in it. They have different way of processing information. Another difference is the sense of identity, where for natives digital communication, over Facebook, Skype and so on, is the same way as it is for digital immigrants when communication happens face to face.
“When we are young we soak up language so quickly but find it so much harder to learn a new language when we are older. The same seems to be true for technology.”– Thomas Plante.
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