UOSM2008 Introductory Post

Digital Natives and Immigrants

Prensky (2001) identified the term ‘digital natives’, describing users who are very experienced with the Web. This looks at the younger generation (‘millenials’) in particular, who are highly skilled (Howe and Strauss, 2000, 2003). Digital immigrants are users who lack the digital skills, and find the Web a difficult environment to navigate.

What defines a native and immigrant can vary per individual. In my opinion, there is no clear distinguishing between the two profiles, as a user would possess traits from both identities. Not all immigrants are lacking in digital literacy. Similarly, not all natives use the Web constantly. There is a compromise between both profiles, in order to utilise the Web efficiently.

Self Test and Digital Profile

To evaluate my current digital literacies, a self test was carried out. This takes into account Prensky’s definition of users on the Web, and what profile I fall under.

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It was interesting to evaluate the amount of time I had spent online. Due to the nature of my course, it was inevitable that I would utilise the Web for coding purposes. However, my digital literacies are lacking in certain areas, especially developing a healthy online profile for other users to view.

My results indicate I am a ‘ digital resident’ in certain aspects, particularly when a proportion of my life is spent online to use social media platforms such as Facebook (White & Cornu, 2011). Yet I am also a visitor, who uses the Web to complete tasks for educational purposes.

I would identify myself as part of the ‘Net Generation’, being able to adapt to the technologies quickly. Understanding the use of technologies is intuitive, and communication is mostly carried out through digital devices (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Phone Calls) (Lorenzo & Dziuban, 2006).


Word Count: 298 


[1] Prensky, M., 2001. Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon9(5), pp.1-6.

[2] Howe, N. & Strauss, W.(2000). Millennials rising: the next great generation. New York: Vintage.

[3] White, D and Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. Available: http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/3171/3049. 

[4] Lorenzo, G. and Dziuban, C., 2006. Ensuring the net generation is net savvy. Educause learning initiative2.