Pencils, Backpacks, and Perspective: Digital Natives

Upon asking a few of my classmates how they thought growing up around computers had impacted their educations, I got the following responses:

“I think we’ve compartmentalized where we get our information. It’s not so much thinking about it, but about where to get it.”
“I have friends that don’t know how to use a library.”

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We are perhaps, some of the oldest “digital natives,” old enough to remember floppy disks, young enough not to remember a time before cell phones. I immediately grasped the concept behind most of the answers I received, that being that we take what we have for granted and that our thinking processes have changed. Many of us haven’t stepped foot in a library for years, not for research at least. Online archives and Google have become our closest research buddies and it means that we never really have to digest information or the mechanics behind where we’re getting it.

To bounce off the post from earlier today, I think it’s true, digital natives cannot be expected to easily learn to use each new technology placed in our hands. We know what we can do instinctively, after years of using it all, but not much beyond that. Now, I’m not saying that someone my age would take longer than someone from an older generation to learn a new software or tool, but digital natives do still need time and training, and most of all, guides to walk us through it all.