The digital native is a myth

Nature, Aug 04, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

People have been disproving the 'digital native' theory for more than a decade now. Here is my 2007 coverage of the denouement of the debate. The behaviours attributed to being 'digital native' are caused not by age or generation, but by use of the technology. So why is it the subject of a Nature editorial in 2017 that "the younger generation uses technology in the same ways as older people?" And why are Kirschner and Bruyckere getting the celebrity treatment for a 2017 paper on the subject? Yes, "education policy is particularly vulnerable to political whims, fads and untested assumptions." But this editorial does nothing to address that; it merely contributes to it, offering a poorly researched and superficial commentary on an issue that does not appear to have been studied by the authors.

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