Danah Boyd, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, talks about some myths related to the term, Digital Native, in her book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. Here are some interesting quotes found in chapter 7, “Are today’s youth digital natives?”:
- “Because teens grew up in a world in which the internet has always existed, many adults assume that youth automatically understand new technologies.” (pg. 176)
- “I interviewed teens who used programming scripts to build complex websites. I also talked with teens who didn’t literally know the difference between a web browser and the internet.” (pg. 176)
- “Teens may make their own media or share content online, but this does not mean that they inherently have the knowledge or perspective to critically examine what they consume. (pg. 177)
- “Not only is it fraught, but it obscures the uneven distribution of technological skills and media literacy across the youth population, presenting an inaccurate portrait of young people as uniformly prepared for the digital era and literacy ignoring the assumed level of privilege required to be “native.” (pg. 179)
- Rather than assuming that youth have innate technical skills, parents, educators, and policymakers must collectively work to support those who come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. (pg. 180)
- “I believe that the digital natives rhetoric is worse than inaccurate: it is dangerous. Because of how society has politicized this language, it allows some to eschew responsibility for helping youth and adults navigate a networked world.” (pg. 197)
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