‘Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards’ or ‘Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants’?

February 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

In my previous post, I used the terms innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. These are psychographic profiles that have been used for over five decades; these profiles were originally developed to characterize the purchase patterns of hybrid seed corn. These profiles are routinely used in information technology as part of the technology adoption lifecycle.

More recently, the terms ‘digital immigrant’ and ‘digital native’ have been used to describe different sets of computer users. Marc Prensky discusses these at length in his 2001 On the Horizon article titled “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants”.

Do these two sets of terms really describe the same phenomenon? Are digital natives the innovators and early adopters and are digital immigrants the early majority, late majority, and laggards? Is there some other difference being described? I prefer a behavioral distinction rather than a distinction based on birth year.

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Entry filed under: New Media Faculty Seminar Spring 2012. Tags: , , , , , .

Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, or Laggards? Thoughts on “Project Classroom Makeover” in Cathy Davidson’s Now You See It

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