I Am a Digital Native

I am a digital native.

When the  terms digital native and digital immigrant were first coined, and it was inferred that we as educators are immigrants – and not natives – I was offended. I am sure my digital language skills are as advanced if not more so than my students.

I am a digital native.

So I started thinking about this – and I realized that I truly am a digital native. Like the  first children born to the New England colonists, I am one of the first in a generation born into the brave, new digital age.

I am a digital native.

I don’t remember not having computers available to use – at home. When my sister and I were young, we had our own computer in our room. I also typed reports and projects using a computer. I remember using DOS and my first wonderings about Windows.

I am a digital native.

I went to computer club meetings with my dad. I evaluated and reviewed software for the newsletter. I enjoyed hearing about all the new digital toys. One year, my sister got a sound card for Christmas, and I received the computer game that required it.

I am a digital native.

I remember my very first online account through Prodigy. I even remember my username: mwrv78c. I loved looking at and posting to bulletin boards. I can still hear the melodic sound of a modem (although I am very thankful for high speed internet access now!).

I am a digital native.

When I went away to college, my dad built a computer for me with the brand new Windows 95 operating system. I think I was one of only a few who had their own computer (and probably the only girl). While everyone else was writing letters home, I was sending emails and IMing my parents.

I am a digital native.

I would rather send an email, post a note to facebook, or text someone before I ever called them. I always have multiple things running on my computer at one time – while also playing on my iPhone & watching tv. If I need to know something, the first place I’ll go to find the information is the web: googling or asking people on Twitter. I interact with friends and family online more than in person.

I am a digital native.

I am at home in the digital world. I have known it all my life. Sure – it is much more advanced than when I first entered this world. However, the US today looks nothing like the original colonies, and those born there were natives, not immigrants.

I am a digital native.

Are you sure you are not one, too?

By Janelle

Space geek, science nerd extraordinaire. That's me! Want to know more, visit the About page.


  1. I might be a digital native, too.

    We had a Texas Instrument computer when they first came out. The doctor my mom worked for gave us one for Christmas. I remember the only thing we could do with it for awhile was program these really cool color shows. I would type in long lists of codes and then the show would happen. It was very cool.

    Then I remember playing the orginial Zelda when it came on on the TI. I don’t remember if it had a word processing program because I was usinga type writer for my reports. But, I did write my Senior exam on the Bank Street writer at school. THat I remember in great detail because I got to the end and hadn’t saved it…I had to start all over, but I remember thinking how wonderful it was not to have to worry about white out!

    I must be in the cross-over generation, because I can also remember 10th grade typing class. I learned on the ancient Royal typewriters that had an manual shift arm that you had to pull when you got to the end of the line.

    We didn’t have other computer games at my house, but my aunt had the pong thing…I actually think that was way before we got the TI.

    In college, I remember borrowing someone elses computer (in their dorm room) to type up papers. I think I even typed some for other people because I could actually type.

    When I got out of college, I remember doing FTP to get into the university library to find sources for a graduate paper.

    I can also remember teaching (92) when we didn’t have email at school. THen, a few years later, I can remember the principal drilling us to check our emails as we shifted from notes in our boxes for information to sharing it via email. My how things have changed…now we are having to wean ourselves from emailing too much.

    I can remember using hyperstudio in graduate school (before ppt) and then using a hijacked copy on the one computer in my class with students.

    I had electronic portfolios for my students that year because we had done several electronic projects…it was 1995.

    I might be a digital native, too.

    Boy how I love it! I love the exciting things we can do now, and I love how the kids love it!

    1. See! We are more comfortable with technology than we think. It’s been around for a long time, so I am sure many of us really are natives.

      Thanks for taking the time to post and share your experiences!

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