What is the Digital World?


“Brave New World” (Adcorp, 2017)

Our world is constantly being changed, shaped, driven and enhanced through the advances of our electronic devices, the internet and mobile technology. This is the age of information, a world where geographical barriers are being broken down resulting in the convergence of time and space (Selwyn, 2013). The digital world is the world in which we all currently reside.

We each have variations to our digital world according to the demands of the lives we live, encompassing both our personal and professional lives. Day to day we use diverse types of digital means to function within society. Facebook, email, data storage, cloud sharing, music streaming, Skype and mobile calls, each contribute to our digital world.

“We know that technology does not determine society: it is society”

(Manuel Castelles, as cited in Selwyn, 2013, p. 1)

We see two generational groups functioning within this digital world. ‘Digital natives’ were born into this age of technology and bring with them a certain expectancy that their lives will be rich in technology (Howell, 2012). “Digital Immigrants” are those who were around to witness this rapid advancement of technology and have had to teach themselves to change and adapt to this new world or else be left behind (Prensky, 2001).

As a future educator of digital natives, it is imperative that I develop a digital pedagogy. As Prensky (2008) observes, unless I teach in a way that students learn, I will be left behind.

While digital natives are fluent in technology outside of the classroom, it is our responsibility as educators (current and future) to teach digital fluency within the educational world. Not all children have access to the tools and skills that are expected by society and potential employers, and it is our job to equip them with these skills through immersion and exposure within the classroom (Howell, 2012).

How do I do this? By continually developing my own digital fluency, ensuring I stay in the game.


Adcorp. (2017). Brave New World [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.adcorp.co.nz/WWW_Adcorp/media/Content/News/April/News_Brave_New_World_header.jpg

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/10748120110424816

Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st – century digital learner. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008

Selwyn, N. (2013). Education in a Digital World: Global perspectives on technology and education. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis


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