In Prensky’s article (2001), he talks about how technology is like a language. The younger a person is, the easier it is to learn the technology language. Much like immigrants, the older the person is when he or she learns how to use technology, the thicker the “digital immigrant accent” will be. He says this is based on the scientific reasoning that is behind the language acquisition capabilities of humans. I do not agree with this idea. Yes, there are definitely members of the older generation who have a difficult time learning how to use technology, but there are young children who have the same problems. Just like there are elders who do very well with technology and have the same skill set as a technology savvy teenager. However, there may be some fact to the idea that since the older generation did not grow up with technology, it could be like learning a second language for them.; whereas the younger generation who has been exposed to technology from a young age may describe using it as second nature.
If a colleague of mine bought up the notion of digital natives, I would find some common ground. I could agree that there are definitely people who have been exposed to technology for longer periods of time and who are quicker at using it. However, I believe that everyone can be taught technology if they want to learn. Technology use in the classroom, especially, is very important for all students and it is necessary to learn. It should not be the only form of teaching provided, but I really believe it engages the students and helps them learn in a way they are often familiar with. There will always be students who struggle, but the quicker educators are in recognizing this and providing extra guidance, the more effective technology will be.
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants – Part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6). Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf