‘Digital natives’: it’s an old, old notion…

I few months ago, I was the resident “critical thinker” at the Lift10 conference in Geneva. In that capacity, I delivered the speech that you can now watch here (with slides), where I debunk the myth of the digital natives. In the last three decades this myth has taken many forms. Computer Kids of the 1980s turned into Internet Children of the 1990s, before being dubbed Digital Natives in the 2000s. Some of the members of this so-called new generation of computer users are already pushing forty…

Kids nowadays are *not* naturally better  than adults at using computers. Yet the media have spread the belief  that a technological and cultural evolution is taking place. This belief hides the inequalities of access to information in today’s society, and the differentials in socio-economic status between the richer younger generations and the socially excluded older ones. The divide between ‘digital immigrants’ and ‘natives’ reproduces the same inequalities that we can observe in our off-line world.


It's official: I'm going to be speaking at LIFT10 conference

Well the title of this post is pretty much self-explanatory: I’m scheduled to be doing my “critical thinker” thing in front of a 1000-odd crowd of technoresearchersmediaexpertsventurepirates at Lift10 conference in Geneva on Thursday, May 6th, 2010. Let me give LiftLab’s own Nicolas Nova a big shout out for inviting me. The title of my presentation is “Doomed to be forever young? A social archaeology of the ‘digital natives'” – this, too, pretty self-spoken… Here’s the complete program, and here’s the link to my bio page containing seven juicy facts about me (in the “Trivia” section). See you there!

ps. Revolution will not be televised. On the other hand, my speech is gonna be broadcasted on Youtube’s Lift channel and even via a dedicated iPhone app.