digital pic

The digital native has many imaginations. From the simple understanding of anybody born after the 1980’s to the more nuanced idea of the born digital generation, the definition of the digital native has been shaped by various assumptions. More specifically, this person is assumed to be young and to have grown up with digital technologies by default. Thus it is assumed that they possess the innate ability to attain and better communicate with digital literacy skills. But such assumptions of digital literacy being an innate trait that defines the culture of the “digital generation” are wrong; younger people are no more digitally literate than their elders.The mistake, then, lies in the way these assumptions misinterpret the identification of an entire generation.

The face of a digital native is no different than the face of a Baby Boomer or a person born into Generation X. Though there are differences among each of the aforementioned, no particular one is more able to attain digital literacy skills. But before identifying whether a person is at all digitally literate, a working definition of digital literacy must be determined. Digital literacy requires the ability to navigate, evaluate, and  create information using a wide range of technologies. It is a modern set of skills meant to accompany and build upon traditional literacy skills. It is not intended only for the attainment and use of technology specialists or the children of our future. Therefore, digital natives are not better accustomed to digital literacy just because they were born when modern advancements in technology were made. Digital literacy is meant to be accessible to all, and it is only growing.



(paragraphs three and four will discuss the history of digital literacy and how it has come about/ why it is still in use today, then I will assess the main assumptions that misinterpret the culture of digital natives on a more critical and political level (my methodology) while incorporating the research I have done and the information provided by my sources along the way)


1 Comment so far

  1.    Claire Bowen on April 19, 2013 6:22 pm

    Great idea to start with the term “digital native” itself, Caroline. Can you find out (OED!) exactly when and how that term was coined? From there, my questions are about phrasing: what do you mean, for example, when you say that the face of this generation is just like those that have gone before? Also: why Uncle Sam?

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind