Algebra Digital Natives

Algebra Digital Natives

Algebra digital natives have unique learning styles for student engagement. Helding (2011) states that there is a new theory of learning called “digital learning”, and it proposes that the current population consist of “digital natives” and digital immigrants.” Our current student population consists of those American citizens born into the digital age. Their early childhood has been digital with technological advancement part of their everyday lives. Today’s algebra students are digital natives and educators must change their instructional methods to engage students.

What worked for the present older generation (baby boomers) does not work for the present generation of digital natives. These students were born into a digital world. This doctoral learner only had a slide rule, a land line phone, and four TV channels. My children were born into a world that had calculators, personal computers, cell phone technology, and multiple TV channels. My grandchildren were born into a world that had text messaging, cell phones, Xbox, PS3, Satellite TV (DIRECTV , Dish Network), and the internet via wireless technology.

When I was deployed during the first Gulf War (Desert Shield, Desert Storm, 1990) we had MARS calls and calling cards to speak with family back home. We even had letters from home through the US Mail. When my son deployed to Saudi and Kuwait in 2007 he communicated with my granddaughter via SKYPE on his laptop computer.

Algebra Digital Natives Research

According to Helding (2011), there is an increase during the past decades and proposes that because of this, digital natives learn differently because of technology. These changes influences how one communicates and connects to the rest of society. It is a mistake to abandon and not use the primary means of communication with today’s students.

Oblinger and Oblinger (2005) further describe the body of digital natives as the Net Generation. The authors state that the Net generation possesses intuitive natural powers to merge together images, text, and sound. According to Oblinger and Oblinger, the net generation is more visually literate than the present digital immigrants in power of making failing decision about how to help the Net generation learn. The research clearly supports a change in the current policy about the use of mobile electronic devices today and in the future.


Helding, L. (2011). Digital natives and digital immigrants: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age. Journal of Singing, 68(2), 199-206.

Oblinger, D.G., & Oblinger, J.L. (2005). Is it age or IT: First steps toward understanding the net generation? In Oblinger, D.G., & Oblinger, J.L. (Eds.), Educating the net generation (p. 2.1-2.20). Educause, available online at

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