Can Old Folks be Digital Natives?

by Zoe Handley,

Oxford University Press

Blogger and English as a Foreign Language teacher, Zoe Handley, explains her frustration with the Digital Natives versus Digital Immigrants hypothesis that Marc Prensky published in 2001.  (Go here for an earlier post on this topic.)  In this blog post she refers to research that questions the supposition that people born after 1982 tend to be Digital Natives.  She references studies that state, for example, that people aged 35 to 44 tend to be the heaviest users of technology, and that younger people are heavy users of technology for social networking and not for content creation.

By the way, Prensky has revised this hypothesis since in articles published in 2002 and 2009, however, the original Digital Natives v. Immigrants hypothesis is still widely quoted.  In 2009, he conceded that “old folks” can be digital natives.

  • What has been your experience with working with the “under 30 crowd” and their use of technology?
  • Have you found them to be strong in using technology for social networking and entertainment, but weak in its use for content creation?