Business & Information Systems Engineering

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 409–419

Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants

Towards a Model of Digital Fluency
  • Qian (Emily) Wang
  • Michael D. Myers
  • David Sundaram
State of the Art

Abstract

The article looks at the differences between “digital natives” and “digital immigrants.” Digital natives are the new generation of young people born into the digital age, while “digital immigrants” are those who learnt to use computers at some stage during their adult life. Whereas digital natives are assumed to be inherently technology-savvy, digital immigrants are usually assumed to have some difficulty with information technology.

The paper suggests that there is a continuum rather than a rigid dichotomy between digital natives and digital immigrants, and this continuum is best conceptualized as digital fluency. Digital fluency is the ability to reformulate knowledge and produce information to express oneself creatively and appropriately in a digital environment. The authors propose a tentative conceptual model of digital fluency that outlines factors that have a direct and indirect impact on digital fluency namely, demographic characteristics, organizational factors, psychological factors, social influence, opportunity, behavioral intention and actual use of digital technologies.

Keywords

Digital natives Digital immigrants Digital fluency Net generation 

Supplementary material

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qian (Emily) Wang
    • 1
  • Michael D. Myers
    • 1
  • David Sundaram
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information Systems and Operations ManagementUniversity of Auckland Business SchoolAucklandNew Zealand

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