This week in my EdTech 537 course, we are asked to address this question. I have already given my thoughts about these articles in an earlier blog post found here.
If a colleague came up to me and expressed belief in the notion that our current students are digital natives and must be taught differently, I would be hard-pressed to disagree. While I don't want to begin researching more articles to support Prensky and refute McKenzie, I think there is more to both sides of the story.
Based on my current knowledge and research I might tell my colleague that while technology has not fundamentally changed students and their brains, technology has changed the world we are preparing them for. Most of our current school models were designed during the Industrial Revolution, preparing students for work in a factory. Content knowledge was safely kept with the teacher to be given out in controlled portions. Technology has changed our world. Most of these students will not be working in factories. We are preparing them for jobs that probably don't exist yet. Teachers are fooling themselves if they think their classroom lecture is the only means for students to discover the content. Information can be found in a matter of seconds.
The brains of our students are not functioning differently due to technology, technology has changed our world and demands that our schools and our teaching change to better serve and prepare our students.