OII SDP 2007 (I): Digital Natives

Leads: John Palfrey, Urs Gasser

With over a million young people “born digital,” now is the time to examine the emerging trends of how these digital natives construct identity, learn, create, and socialize in an ever-changing “always on” landscape. How do we give digital natives the tools (in terms of know-how, technology, social norms, or other means) to navigate safely in the emerging digital social space? How can copyright holders work with digital creators to understand their needs and practices in a way that doesn’t stifle their creativity? As a global society, can we come to understand what’s happening with a generation online, to embrace a digital present, and to shape, in constructive ways, a more digital future?

Working papers on Digital Divide, the Spread of the Internet and Political Institutions

What does it mean to be a Digital Native?

  • Digital Identity: Identity was something I could control… can I control my Digital Identity? Or, on the contrary: online identity can be shaped, created absolutely the way I want it to be
  • Multitasking: Distraction or multitasking?
  • Digital Media: Flickr, Google Print, YouTube…
  • Digital Creativity: Consumers in the past… what now? Quite a switch. Can we relate it with… Democracy?

Technologies that enable/empower the digital native

  • RSS feeds, of course, that link together (free) web 2.0 applications.
  • Lightweight collaboration: Wikipedia?
  • New contexts, new meanings
  • Tagging
  • International scope: shrinking the world


  • Security
  • Privacy: unintended audience; how to remove information about me on the Internet, information that can be massively processed (i.e. image recognition); identity theft, erosion
  • Intellectual property: copyright, trademark
  • Credibility: specially relevant in the academic business
  • Information overload: we move from an environment of high quality information — because it is produced professionally — towards an amateur created information environment. Related: quality mechanics, reputation, etc. How many RSS feed subscriptions or e-mails a day can you tolerate?


  • Media literacy skills
  • expression/identity
  • empowering creators
  • information sharing
  • maintaining connections
  • semiotic democracy
  • access to information

My reflections


Lenhart, A. & Madden, M. (2005). Teen Content Creators and Consumers. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved July 13, 2007 from http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Teens_Content_Creation.pdf

More info


SDP 2007 related posts (2007)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “OII SDP 2007 (I): Digital Natives” In ICTlogy, #46, July 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from https://ictlogy.net/review/?p=566

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