The Development of Digital Natives in Metro Manila through the Emergence of New Information and Communication Technologies
Prensky’s (2001a) “digital natives” refer to children born in the age of technology. To explore this phenomenon in the Philippine setting, the researchers aim to determine the contexts in which Metro Manilan tweens develop the use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and how this development integrates in their characteristics, literacy and lifestyle.
Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed. The survey was administered to a total of 305 respondents, who came from four randomly selected Metro Manila schools. They were also the subjects of observation.
Results showed that Metro Manilan tweens qualify as digital natives. High awareness on and usage of ICTs were recorded. Half of them have computers at home, while three-fourths own mobile phones. At a young age, they are already knowledgeable about computer- and mobile phone-based technologies, such as video games, call and text, social networks and chat. Their motivations and gratifications obtained, communication activities and social environment were also discussed. Based on observation, they exhibited assertiveness and fast-paced lifestyle, among others.
Findings of this study have significant implications primarily on the Philippine education sector and proper parental monitoring, as policies and practice must be evidence-based and empirically informed.