DIGITAL NATIVE

This is an English language lesson aimed at all general levels of students who are learning English as a second language.

The topic day for our short presentation and practice is ‘The Digital Native’.

I think there are three types of people when it comes to digital technology.

The first is the digital native.  The second is the digital immigrant and the third is the digital virgin.

So how are they different?  And how do we know which one we are?

The definitions are very simple to understand.

First comes the digital virgin, the person who has never been seduced by modern technology and refuses to embrace it as a part of their life.

You might even call them a digital alien instead.

Such a person may know how to use a traditional telephone and switch on a television set or a radio but their grasp of technology with computers, cameras, scanners and the like is lacking.

When I use the term ‘digital virgin’, I suggest that these people, quite probably many who are elderly, are puritan in their thinking and express no wish or desire to accept the technology thrust at them.

Consider then the ‘digital immigrant’.

Immigration we take to mean coming or entering into something, especially when we go travelling to visit another country.

So we take the word slightly out of context by referring to a large group of people right now who were not born into the era of computers and digital technology but have had to adapt to it through socialisation and employment.

The third category, which gives title to our topic, is the digital native.

A native is someone born to a homeland and so it is with a digital native.

They were born into the world of computers and digital technology which makes it easier to function life with it rather than without it.

Especially so with computer and video games.

As for me, I am a digital immigrant.  It is not instinctive to immediately grasp and understand all the new technology thrust in my direction such as the smartphone, television remote control and the classroom electronic whiteboard.

All of my children, nephews and nieces are digital natives and manage digital technology with comfort and use.

What is next?

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