Are Adult Educators and Learners ‘Digital Immigrants’? Examining the Evidence and Impacts for Continuing Education
AbstractOver the past decade, Prensky’s distinctions between “digital immigrants” and “digital natives” have been oft-referenced. Much has been written about digital native students as a part of the Net generation or as Millennials. However, little work fully considers the impact of digital immigrant discourse within the fields of adult learning and continuing education. It is promising that rather than being digitally challenged immigrants for whom new learning technologies are completely foreign, adults of different ages can bring valuable knowledge and skills to e-learning environments that enable them to achieve academic success. These are important findings, since e-learning is increasingly recognized as an important part of learning across the life-course. With the growing body of research evidence countering common digital native and immigrant distinctions and critiquing an underlying technological determinism informing such arguments, how might practitioners respond to these discourses in their own educational contexts? With a focus on digital immigrants, the purpose of this article is to provide critical consideration of current research evidence on digital native/immigrant distinctions that impact educators and learners within the field of continuing education.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).