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H. Sapiens Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom

Innovate: Journal of Online Education Volume 5, Number 3, ISSN 1552-3233


As we move further into the 21st century, the digital native/digital immigrant paradigm created by Marc Prensky in 2001 is becoming less relevant. In this article, Prensky suggests that we should focus instead on the development of what he calls "digital wisdom." Arguing that digital technology can make us not just smarter but truly wiser, Prensky describes how tools that give us access to more information and enhance our analytical powers will both reshape what wisdom is and give us the power to be wiser. These tools, whether they come in the form of complex simulations or databases or even from implanted tools that help us process information as it arrives, enhance our thinking power. The digitally enhanced person who will emerge from these developments, homo sapiens digital, differs from today's human in two key aspects: He or she accepts digital enhancement as an integral fact of human existence, and he or she is digitally wise. Digital wisdom is exhibited both in a considered use of digital enhancements to complement innate abilities and in the use of enhancements to facilitate wiser decision making. In an unimaginably complex future, Prensky argues, the unenhanced person, however wise, will not have the tools of wisdom that will be available to even the least wise enhanced human.


Prensky, M. (2009). H. Sapiens Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 5(3),. Retrieved June 6, 2023 from .


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