Here is interesting article from the Gartner Group. I have attached a summary of the article and the reference. At last the digital immigrants/natives terminology has been superseded. Shaun makes a comment below regarding labels and their application to students.
Generation Virtual (also known as Generation V) is not defined by age or gender, social demographic or geography but is based on demonstrated achievement, accomplishments and an increasing preference for the use of digital media channels to discover information, build knowledge and share insights.
Generation V is the recognition that general behaviour, attitudes and interests are starting to blend together in an online environment.
Gartner has identified four levels of engagement within Generation V, addressing both the extent to which customers will engage with other customers, as well as the level of engagement needed from businesses to enable the community. The four levels of engagement include: creators, contributors, opportunists, and lurkers.
- Up to 3 percent of individuals will be creators providing original content and can be advocates that promote your product and services.
- Between 3 percent and 10 percent of individuals will be contributors essentially followers, who add to the conversation, but don't initiate it. They can recommend products and services as customers move through a buying process, looking for purchasing advice.
- Between 10 percent and 20 percent of individuals will be opportunists who can further contributions regarding purchasing decisions. Opportunists can "add value" to a conversation that's taking place, while walking through a considered purchase.
- Approximately 80 percent of individuals will be lurkers (and all users start as such), essentially spectators, who reap the rewards of online community input, but only absorb what is being communicated. However, they can implicitly contribute and validate indirectly reporting the value from the rest of the community.
Gartner Says Enterprises Must Create Separate Marketing Strategies for Generation Virtual Retrieved on Friday, 15 September 2008 from http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=721008