Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Summary

Prensky states that the students in our classrooms are much more different than the people who are in front of the classroom teaching in terms of how they learn and the ways in which they are able to take in information. He gave the two different groups of people different titles; digital immigrants, and digital natives. Immigrants being those people who were not born in a time when technology was not readily available to use at all times and have had to learn over time how to use it. As compared to now, when the use of technology is readily available to the children born, the natives. The natives have been exposed to the use of technology from early on in life and need this to thrive in our school setting.

Another main point that Prensky makes is that there needs to be a switch in the way in which educators teach because students are losing out due to the “old fashioned” methods of teaching which are still being used today. For example, many teachers primarily use the text as their mode of instruction and the natives get “bored” and are not learning the lessons to their full extent.

One final point that Prensky makes is that digital immigrant teachers are able to reach digital native students with some work and effort. He makes several attempts to show how the typical classroom lesson that would be taught by a digital immigrant could be taught to be more appealing to a digital native. I think that overall the switch from the typical lecture based lesson to a more digital native user friendly format is happening more and more across the U.S. and will continue as more resources and ideas become available and ideas are shared.

I consider myself a digital native as I have been exposed to and used computers and other technology based things my entire life. In my current job situation, I was one of three teachers in our district to try out the use of iPads in our classrooms and report back as to what our opinions were on the use of these in a classroom setting. Being a younger teacher in a school that is made up primarily of older (immigrant) teachers, it can be hard to try and convince them of all the beneficial uses of something such as an iPad that many see as only a game or another gadget/toy. I think our district will be implementing the use of iPads in all/most of the classrooms sometime in the near future, but I know it will take some more convincing or some proof that these “gadgets” actually are beneficial to the students learning.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, Retrieved from



Filed under Assessment

2 responses to “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Summary

  1. aggregory

    The digital native versus digital immigrant comparison gives the impression that younger students who grew up immersed in the Internet are somehow more capable in online learning. While it is, true that many are expert texters and maintain cute Facebook pages, that does not make them scholars. There is a huge leap in going from tweeting your friends about a movie to writing a properly formatted and researched paper. Many of our digital natives use word processors like we used to use typewriters and very few can assemble data in a spreadsheet. Their only real advantage is their comfort in using computers, smartphones, and tablets. Their disadvantage is their belief that these digital devices can instantly produce the answer they need and they are surprised that they must work just as hard as the rest of us to become scholars.

  2. Pingback: Speaking about Technology… « Craig's Tech Blog

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