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Debunking the “digital native”: beyond digital apartheid, towards digital democracy

Czerniewicz, Laura; Brown, Cheryl

Abstract:

"This paper interrogates the currently pervasive discourse of the "net generation" finding the concept of the "digital native" especially problematic, both empirically and conceptually. We draw on a research project of South African higher education students’ access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to show that age is not a determining factor in students’ digital lives; rather their familiarity and experience using ICTs is more relevant. We also demonstrate that the notion of a generation of "digital natives" is inaccurate; those with such attributes are effectively a digital elite. Instead of a new net generation growing up to replace an older analogue generation, there is a deepening digital divide in South Africa characterised not by age but by access and opportunity; indeed digital apartheid is alive and well. We suggest that the possibility for digital democracy does exist in the form of a mobile society which is not age-specific, and which is ubiquitous."

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Document Title: Debunking the “digital native”: beyond digital apartheid, towards digital democracy
Journal: Journal of Computer Assisted Learning
Volume: 26
Issue: 5
No. of Pages: 357-369


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Students
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Students, South Africa, ICT (Information & Communication Technology), Digital Divide


Rights:Author
Date Added:24 February 2011


Czerniewicz, Laura; Brown, Cheryl (2010). Debunking the “digital native”: beyond digital apartheid, towards digital democracy