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Digital native

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A “digital native” is a term coined by John Perry Barlow and Marc Prensky to describe individuals who have grown up with digital technology[2] as an integral part of their lives. These people are often young, have a natural fluency with technology, and comfortably navigate the world of smartphones, social media[1], and the internet[3]. However, the term has faced criticism for lacking empirical evidence and has evolved within academic literature. Alternative concepts, such as Digital Visitor and Resident, have been introduced, and the category of digital natives has been further refined into subgroups like avoiders, minimalists, and enthusiastic participants. The digital native generation is characterized by a preference for freedom, creativity, and customization, with their decisions often influenced by their peers. Their exposure to technology may lead to changes in brain physiology and thinking patterns. In education, they often favor interactive and exploratory learning methods, with a tendency towards multitasking and visual learning.

Terms definitions
1. social media. Social media is a broad term encompassing a variety of digital tools and platforms that facilitate the sharing of information and the creation of virtual communities. Emerging from early systems like PLATO and ARPANET, it has evolved into modern platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These platforms offer unique features that differentiate them from traditional media, including the ability for users to generate content and engage in dialogic communication. They cater to over 100 million users globally and offer different forms of services, such as messaging apps and collaborative content creation platforms. The use of social media has far-reaching impacts on individuals, society, and businesses, influencing everything from marketing practices to political processes. However, it's also associated with ethical concerns, such as the spread of misinformation and potential addiction.
2. technology. Technology, derived from the Greek words meaning craft and knowledge, is a broad term that refers to the tools, machines, and systems developed by humans to solve problems or fulfill objectives. Originating with primitive tools like stone axes and the discovery of fire, technology has evolved significantly throughout human history. It has been instrumental in different eras, from the invention of the wheel and advanced irrigation systems in ancient civilizations to the birth of universities and printing press during the medieval and Renaissance periods. The Industrial Revolution in the 18th century marked a significant shift in mass production and innovation, giving rise to modern technologies like electricity, automobiles, and digital communication platforms. Today, technology is integral to various aspects of life and society, driving economic growth and societal change, while also raising concerns about security, privacy, and environmental impacts. The future of technology is expected to bring even more advancements, with the rise of artificial intelligence predicted to have significant implications for the job market.
Digital native (Wikipedia)

The term digital native describes a person who has grown up in the information age. The term "digital native" was coined by Marc Prensky, an American writer, speaker and technologist who wrote several articles referencing this subject. This term specifically applied to the generation that grew up in the "digital age," predominantly regarding individuals born after the year 1980, namely Millennials, Generation Z, and Generation Alpha. Individuals from these demographic cohorts can consume digital information quickly and comfortably through electronic devices and platforms such as computers, mobile phones, and social media.

A child using a tablet

Digital natives are distinguished from digital immigrants, people who grew up in a world dominated by print and television because they were born before the advent of the Internet. The digital generation grew up with increased confidence in the technology that they were encircled and engulfed in. This was thanks in part to their predecessors growing interest into a subject that was previously an unknown. Due to their upbringing, this digital generation of youth became fixated on their technologies as it became an ingrained, integral and essential way of life. Prensky concluded that due to the volume of daily interactions with technology, the digital native generation had developed a completely different way of thinking. Though the brains may not have changed physically, pathways and thinking patterns had evolved, and brains had changed to be physiologically different than those of the bygone era. Repeated exposure had helped grow and stimulate certain regions of the brain, while other unused parts of the brain were reduced in size. The terms digital native and digital immigrant are often used to describe the digital generation gap in terms of the ability of technological use among people born after 1980 and those born before. The term digital native is a highly contested concept, being considered by many education researchers as a persistent myth not founded on empirical evidence and many argue for a more nuanced approach for understanding the relationship between digital media, learning and youth.

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