Tuesday, 5 February 2008


I'm not a huge fan of the terms digital native/immigrant as I'm not sure that people always slot nicely into those categories. By virtue of my birth date I should be an immigrant and yet I don't behave like an immigrant or learn like one (according to the accepted definitions) and I had unique experiences growing up that may have contributed to this. Although, having said that I did most of the growing up that I can remember in the late 70s/ early 80s - so maybe I'm not truly in the time frame for immigrant either. My current question that I am pondering is, what do we call people like me who don't slot neatly? Do we need to have these generalised names at all? Is there are better way of looking at it? Is it really about your birth date or is it more to do with your mindset and how much you embrace change and the new technologies? I guess none of this is mind blowing stuff and it probably doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. To be honest I really don't like labels and I guess it is a way of illustrating, in a very straight forward way, the differences between generations. Part of the issue for me I think is that I don't like people making assumptions without knowing a little more detail. By the same token, is it fair to assume that all our kids are natives? I've taught in plenty of places where many of the children don't even have access to computers and play stations (for example) at home and have little opportunity to interact with a wide range of technology. Could these assumptions make a difference? If so, would it be a positive one or a negative one? Would we push them to do things assuming that they can? Or, would we instead make the mistake of not ensuring that they have the necessary scaffolds and supports to truly benefit from the tech they use at school?
Like I said, these are merely musings, just things to think about. What do you think?


  1. For me the whole native immigrant refugee thing is a total crock and should be well laid to rest.

    For some of the refugees it is just an excuse to do the same old things in the same tired old ways.

    As you say just because you participate in Facebook, My Space or SL doesn't make you a native either. It just means you follow the herd and don't like to feel left out.

    After that little rant I will stop and enjoy Waitangi Day- last day of the hols- yay!

    Allanah K

  2. Here! Here! Allanah - I'm pleased it's not just me that feels this way. Consider it officially buried. 1 day to go and then back to routines - I shall definitely make the most of my Waitangi day too.

  3. I can honestly say that I am way more 'native' than most of the kids I teach.

    To them the internet is an extension of playstation or x-box. I think the web is untapped for most of them in many ways.