Conexiones Blog

Digital Natives/Digital Immigrants Part I

Last month I spoke to a group of students at a local university. They are business students interested in the global economy. There were about 30 of them all between the ages of 19 and 22.
I began my talk entitled, “Competing in the Age of Information”, by telling them my talk would be about the Information Age and the Knowledge Economy. There were total blank stares from every student when I said that!

I adjusted my talk to better explain what I meant but it was painfully obvious to me that I was speaking a language with which the students were unfamiliar. I struggled with this and only got half-way through the presentation and ran out of time. I felt like a failure because it was my responsibility to connect with the audience, after all I am with Conexciones. Everyone enjoyed the information but what they wanted to know was: What kind of job or career could they persue to find stability in their working life? I told them to just get that out of their heads! In today’s world and in the future, things change at “warp speed”. The days where you went to work at a company, stayed there for 10 years or so, were promoted up the ladder and retired with a gold watch after 35 years are a thing of the past. To be sure, it may have been a myth anyway. I also told them in the next 5 to 10 years there would be jobs and careers we have not even imagined today-that is how fast things change.

I spoke to the professor who sponsors the club afterwards and she told me something that astonished me. She said to remember these students grew up in the electronic world. What we may consider as novel, to the students is ordinary. She was absolutely right! No less then one week later, I learned about Marc Prensky and his differentiation of those students born after 1983 and the rest of us born before that year. This appears in an article entitled: Digital Natives/Digital Immigrants. I should have known this. Both our children are Digital Natives, one born in 1983 and the other 1986. I on the other hand am a Digital Immigrant. I should have recognize that-which I have-now. (more about this in my next posting...)

Posted by Anastacio Bueno on 12th March, 2008 | Comments | Trackbacks

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