Digital Natives

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The label of "Digital Natives" has been used by academics and popular media to refer to an entire new generation who have "grown up" and have been "born" surrounded by digital technologies, in an environment of digital and networked media. This label, similar to the ones of "net generation," "millennial learners," and "google generation," creates a stereotype for youth born after 1990s who have not lived in a world without the Internet. These idealized youth have lived their everyday lives immersed in a digital environment, and, therefore, behave and think in a very unique way, different to older generations.

The researchers who have articulated the "digital native" argument, lack empirical evidence and scientific rigor (Prenksy, 2001; Tapscott, 1998, 2009; Palfrey & Gasser, 2008; Howe & Strauss, 2000.). They seem to be guided by a techno determinist approach that is based on casual and intuitive observations o a particular kind of privileged youth who has access to digital technology since early age. This argument homogenize an entire generation of young people and does not take into account the diversity of practices and experiences that new generations have with digital media. Other factors that become important for understanding the diversity for digital experiences, as well as the complexity of the digital divide, are : socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity and race, educational background, motivations, age, geographic location, home media environment, ...