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Marc Prensky defines the term digital natives, referring to people who were born after digital computers were popular.

He claims that they process information in fundamentally different ways.

Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.

But in my experience in teaching I have not seen much differences from so-called "digital immigrants".

I'm more inclined to believe that digital natives are less technologically adept because they have only encountered fully functional "magic boxes" and locked down products like the iPad aren't very helpful.

Is there a study of this phenomenon and does it even make sense?

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    I think it would improve the question if you would pick one specific claim Prensky makes. I tried to whittle the claim down to something more specific, but skimming the article, I couldn't see a specific claim that captured all of the vague hand-waving. – Oddthinking Mar 18 '12 at 1:13
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    What is fundamentally different with them? What changed radically? – user unknown Mar 19 '12 at 11:46
  • What does "fundamentally" add to the question? Is it the crux of the question ("are the ways 'fundamentally' different"), or is it an irrelevant extra word ("is there some way in which it's different")? – ChrisW Apr 19 '12 at 3:04
  • @ChrisW: The idea, as I understand it, is that our grandparents don't see the benefit of having the internet nor can they apply it in interesting new ways (even though they can articulate the benefit of having telephones, which is very similar); whereas digital natives see the benefit of having the internet and can apply it in interesting new ways. If that makes sense. Comparatively, digital natives see the internet as a cornerstone of modern civilization (= fundamental), which makes them more inclined to rely on its existence when solving problems. – Flater Oct 10 '17 at 15:01
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    @Flater If the question is too subjective and isn't asking about a specific claim then IMO it's not on-topic for this site and should be closed. Perhaps there is a valid (answerable) question in their somewhere ... but Oddthinking read it and said, "I couldn't see a specific claim that captured all of the vague hand-waving" so I didn't try to repeat his work. Perhaps the OP (John Smith) should find a different reference, which does make a specific claim, to ask about. – ChrisW Oct 10 '17 at 15:15

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