When I did my IT GCSE I remember having a great deal of discussion about technology immigrants versus Technology natives. At the time we were all told that as 16 year olds in 2002 we were technology natives because we had grown up with technology. Our teacher on the other hand was a technology immigrant.
Since 2000 we have seen tremendous technological change, we’ve seen the introduction of social networking, developments of technology such as iPhone, iPad, and a cultural shift in the way technology assists in the workplace.
All of this has happened since I have “grown up” so does that mean that I am still a technology native? Or as new technology emerges that I start to adopt am I slowly starting to fit more into the category of technology immigrant.
At risk of opening up a huge can of worms could it be suggested that there is no such thing as a true technology native? I’m sure when the calculator first started to appear in schools the children of the day could have been referred to as technology natives ….. But as technology has moved on I’m sure those individuals would not consider that they have grown up with technology; much more that technology has developed around them as they have got older.
The truth of the matter is that as each new piece of technology emerges we all migrate towards it making us all technology immigrants. Only when technology stops developing will the next generation be true natives and I don’t see technology ceasing to move forward in the imminent future.
That said as technology advances people do become more comfortable adopting it. I for example am much more comfortable using technology than my mum. This suggests that the as technology advances the learning curve to start using it is easier for those who have grown up in the digital age – I wonder if technology will ever advance to such a level that I find it difficult to adopt? I’m sure my mum never had difficulty using a calculator in school so why is it that she is scared of the iPad?