Digital Natives & Digital Immigrants

In recent discussion of digital natives and digital immigrants, a controversial issue has been whether digital natives actually know how to tell if a website is credible or not. On the one hand, some argue that digital natives are born into technology, so they know how to tell if a website is credible or if it is not. From this perspective, teens are seen as “technologically savvy” and people assume they know everything there is to technology because they grew up using it. On the other hand, others argue that teens do not know everything and that they need to be taught how do distinguish the valid websites from those that are not. According to this view, students still need to be taught how to use technology the correct way. In sum then, the issue is whether or not teens know how to distinguish credible websites or not.

My own view is that although todays teenagers still need to be taught how to choose credible websites and how to ignore the bad ones. Though I concede that teens are very familiar with technology, I still maintain that they need to be informed on how to differentiate credible websites from non credible websites. For example “Are Todays Youth Digital Natives?”  talks about how many teens don’t think that Wikipedia is a credible source because they have been told that it is not credible but they think Google is. Although some might object that teaching students of today about technology is a waste of time because many times the students know more about it that teachers, I would reply that teenagers can still learn even more of technology from teachers. This issue is important because many people think that teaching students about the internet or technology is not important because they are technologically savvy, when in reality there is a lot of material technologically speaking that teenagers of today don’t know.

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