Topic 1: “Digital Visitors” and “Digital Residents”

Please read these brief notes and check out the links, before preparing and posting your answer to the set question. This document should be regarded as just the start of the discussion, which we all then develop over the next two weeks.

The notion of ‘digital natives’ (young people who have grown up in the digital world and hence are expert users of technology) is often contrasted in the popular press with ‘digital immigrants’ (older people who struggle to master these new norms and behaviours). Digging a little deeper, however, tends to show that there is both expertise (and lack of it) at all age groups. And just because people might be proficient users of technology for social purposes, it does not necessarily follow that they are effective at using it for learning or to build their professional online profiles. This is where the digital ‘residents’ and ‘visitors’ framework adds more value over and above the simplistic and over-hyped ‘digital native’ ideas.

Question: Explain the concept of digital “visitors” and “residents” drawing upon your reading and your own online experiences to date in support of the points that you make.

White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).

A short blog post from Oxford University, gives a nice summary of the visitors and residents idea.

Our own research (a few years old now) into the visitors and residents debate

You should also check out this useful guide from Oxford Brookes University: evaluating web sources

Deadline for posting your answer to the set question is midnight on 16/10
Deadline for your comments on the work of others is midnight on 19/10
Deadline for posting your reflective summaries is midnight on 23/10

You will NOT be formally assessed on Topic 1 but you will get detailed individual feedback in exactly the same way as you will for the assessed topics 2 – 5. Please use this as an opportunity to get into the swing of how it all works, while making sure you stick to the deadlines. (Remember that for topics 2-5 marks will be deducted for late posts.) The assessment criteria are detailed in the module Study Guide.

If you have any questions, please ask us. And if you find useful additional resources on this topic to share with the group, please do so via twitter using #UOSM2033

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