Digital natives

What is a Digital World?

The term “digital world” refers to the modern world where different forms of technology transform people’s everyday lives. Today’s students are growing up in a world revolving around technology. They watch digital TV, read Internet magazines, use social media and texting to connect with others and so much more. It seems that modern students are able to seamlessly transition between their physical and digital lives. (BETCA, as cited in Howell, 2012, p. 6). Since students are immersed in technology on a daily basis, they have been labelled as “digital natives” (Howell, 2012, p. 6).


(Klein-Geltink, n.d.)

However, it appears that students’ digital fluency is restricted to leisure and entertainment pursuits rather than educational. Therefore, there is a great need to boost students’ knowledge of various digital technologies (Howell, 2012, p. 13).

It is evident that in the world where technology is truly revolutionising people’s lives, education is becoming increasingly digital. Teachers use projectors, interactive boards and other digital technologies to facilitate the learning process. However, as Howell (2012) puts it: “throwing a computer into a classroom doesn’t make the learning effective” (p. 5). Technology should not be viewed simply as a tool to support instruction, but rather as a foundation that changes the nature of learning (Howell, 2012, p. 5). Technology is transforming the way students learn and the way teachers teach (Howell, 2012, p. 15).

Prensky (2008) points out that students are becoming increasingly bored at school and their frustration with old-school teaching methods, such as lecturing, is rising. Effective implementing of technology in the classroom will result in more engaging classes and increased motivation among students (Howell, 2012, p. 12). Students will view the learning process more positively if technologies are used, therefore it will be easier for teachers to achieve their teaching objectives (Howell, 2012, p. 15).


(Klein-Geltink, n.d.)

It is evident that both students and parents expect teachers to infuse technology into their teaching and help students navigate technological advances of the modern digital world (Howell, 2012, p. 6). To achieve this, teachers need “digital pedagogy” – the study of how to use digital technologies in teaching (Howell, 2012, p. 5).

In the video below Prensky talks about the role of the teacher in today’s digital world (CEMPVideos, 2010).


CEMPVideos (2010, October 21). Marc Prensky – What is the role of the teacher in

today’s world? [Video file]. Retrieved from

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity.

South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford.

Klein-Geltink M. (n.d.). [Students using computers at school]. Retrieved from

Klein-Geltink M. (n.d.). [Students using iPads at school]. Retrieved from

Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st-century digital learner. Retrieved from