Reconsidering Digital Immigrants…

Henry Jenkins looks again at the “Digital Immigrants/ Digital Natives” debate. Jenkins points out:

Talking about youth as digital natives implies that there is a world which these young people all share and a body of knowledge they have all mastered, rather than seeing the online world as unfamiliar and uncertain for all of us.

while acknowledging that part of the ongoing use of the phrases is simply because no-one’s managed to develop a better one. He goes on to discuss some of the (negative) implications of the use of the word “Immigrants” – that it could potentially be seen as inferior/ that digital immigrants aren’t really needed. He comments:

Yet, I worry that the metaphor may be having the opposite effect now — implying that young people are better off without us and thus justifying decisions not to adjust educational practices to create a space where young and old might be able to learn from each other.

… and starts to wonder about “digital multi-culturalism”.

The (current set) of comments are worth reading too; supporting Jenkins discussion of the use of the terms, while recognising that they make a good starting point.
For me, I guess if I am a digital immigrant; having started with a ZX81 and gone via several other systems, to be now using a range of Web2.0 tools (though not yet got Vista on my PC) – well, I must have been on the digital “first fleet” !