During one of the presentations I attended at the recent ‘Make It Personal‘ conference at the University of Greenwich (looking at the use of social network in eLearning) we talked about the difference between the ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants’, and how they approached social network and eLearning in general.
I searched and found this excellent resource from Sharon Stoerger; ”The Digital melting-pot: Bridging the digital native-immigrant divide”
Much has been written about the two ‘types’ of learners, and I suggest you go read a few of the following if you want some more information on them;
- Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants
- Who are the digital natives? And what do they want?
- Strategies for Digital Natives
- Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Some Thoughts from the Generation Gap
What I like about the ‘melting-pot’ is the idea that this;
“new metaphor, the digital melting pot, supports the idea of integrating rather than segregating the natives and the immigrants. Instead of segregating individuals based on their skills or lack thereof, the digital melting pot is a place where all individuals, including those with low levels of competency, experience technology in a way that fosters opportunities without barriers. The melting pot also symbolizes the bridge between the two cultures that the digital native–digital immigrant dichotomy creates.”
I like the idea that we can prevent the ‘them-and-us’ mentality by not using the ‘digital native’ or ‘digital immigrant’ names; this prevents so much misconception that we might otherwise find ourselves a victim of based on someones age or demographic background.
“… the digital melting-pot metaphor redirects the attention away from the “assigned” generational characteristics. Instead, the focus of the melting pot is on the diverse set of technological capabilities individuals actually have, as well as the digital skills they might gain through experience.”
I, for one, am all for it. Anyone else?
PS. I’ve used the #mip Twitter hashtag as there was talk about the 2010 Conference being on the divide between the digital natives and immigrants.