COMMU N I T Y C O L L EGES
A DOZEN YEARS AFTER MARC PRENSKY
coined the term “ digital native” in a 2001 article, his theory that today’s
students (“ K through college”) have a hardwired affinity for technology is
looking far too simplistic. His argument is undercut by the realities of geography,
socioeconomics, and — equally important — changing demographics
in the student body itself.
Indeed, the traditional image of college students as 18- to 22- year- olds is
looking a bit shopworn. Today, such students are outnumbered by those who
are older, working, and often have families of their own. Whereas Prensky
worried about digital natives being taught by “ digital immigrants” — people
who started to use technology only later in life — he did not foresee that many
of today’s students themselves would fall into this immigrant status. ..
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | September 2013 21
Online education promises learning
opportunities for all, but too many community
college students lack the tech skills — and the
access — to take advantage of these resources.
CT takes a closer look at the problem.
Can’t Compute By Dian Schaffhauser
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