Guest post by: Dave Mulder, Assistant Professor of Education at Dordt College
What do we make of the Millennials? Are they digital natives, or are they “the dumbest generation”? Now that they are graduating from college and joining the team as professional educators, how shall we—the more seasoned educators—think about them, and their use of technology?
Marc Prensky, in his 2001 article, introduced the terminology of “digital natives” (referring to the Millennial generation) and “digital immigrants” (everybody older than the Millennials). And the argument was compelling: kids growing up with ready access to digital technology seem to think differently about the tools at their disposal. Seeing students (college, high school, middle school, or even elementary students) so attached to their handheld devices and social media makes it seem that Prensky’s words were prophetic: “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” Perhaps the Millennials are better suited for teaching their fellow digital natives.