Topic 1: Reflective Summary

The first topic introduced some relatively simple concepts ….’Visitors’, ‘Residents’, ‘Natives’ and ‘Immigrants’.

Having read everyone else’s posts and re-evaluated mine, I suspect we have all failed to challenge the utility of these labels. It was very easy for us to simply categorise ourselves as ‘Residents’ and ‘Natives’. Seeing such self-evidently accurate terms, weve fallen into the trap of accepting them and failing to challenge their nature.

The reality is there are a multitude of different ways of characterising people, for example; do they trust the web or don’t they, do they take the web with them (on their smartphones) or leave it behind them, do they contribute to knowledge (via Wikipedia etc) or just leave social markers, etc.

Before you develop labels you should define their purpose. For example, are you labelling people because you want to identify those you can sell something to, to identify those who need training, or to identify security risks. I haven’t read Prensky’s, White or Le Cornu’s work in detail but nothing I have seen so far defined what the purpose of the labels were.

At this point I’m looking at these simple labels and asking if they are of more than academic interest.

In any case, our blogs, like all collaborative platforms, enabled us to share our views. Andrew Ghiacy’s embedded YouTube video of a baby trying to interact with a magazine was the post that triggered the most inward debate for me, re: the extent to which we might become ‘trapped’ by a mind-set introduced by the web.

For me, the film The Matrix, is the logical extension of this fear.

An example of this is the world postulated by Isaac Asimov (twentieth century science fiction writer) in which people used ‘remote viewing’ to see each other; to actually physically meet anyone was regarded as repugnant. 

Who knows what paths the web will take and what labels we will ultimately need.

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My Comment Links:

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Digital Residents and Digital Immigrants

The concept of Visitors and Residents was developed by David White and Alison Le Cornu:
• The Resident is an individual who collaborates and contributes online, establishing a permanent online presence.
• The Visitor is an individual who uses the web as a functional tool and leaves little trace behind them.

This is a different vision to Prensky’s concept of ‘natives’ (those who were born into the digital age) and ‘immigrants’ (those who weren’t).

In terms of culture and activities this translates to:
• For the Resident THE INTERNET IS A PLACE – where they interact with others and spend time developing their online persona.
• For the Visitor THE INTERNET IS A TOOL – they do not participate in online culture; instead using the internet to find data, pay bills, make bookings, etc.

The basic concepts can be seen on David White’s YouTube video:

However, people can have different relationships with the internet in their professional and personal lives. White proposed the following matrix for mapping our interactions…

Blank Blackboard download from Fotolia, << File: mapping.jpg >>

So Facebook is used by Residents in their personal lives, whereas tools like Project Muse are used in a professional (institutional) role by those behaving as a visitor. Interestingly, YouTube can be used by companies, professional and personal interactions, for example, this video shows Malvern Instruments using YouTube to communicate with its customers:

The Visitor / Resident classification is not necessarily linked with age, so the young are not always Residents. Similarly, Residents don’t necessarily know how to effectively use the internet. For instance, one of the concerns that has been expressed is the naive way in which some people place too much trust in what they see online.

Residents ≠ evaluation and critical skills.

Patrick Wilson, in his book Second Hand Knowledge, (Praeger, 1983), p15 notes that:

  • Until the end of the twentieth century the primary source of information was published books that were subject to professional review before publication.
  • The internet requires no professional review. Instead whether it is ‘liked’ and appears on search engine returns is based on criteria such as appearance and sponsorship, etc.

Many have emphasised the need to establish information’s credibility before accepting its views. “The notion of credibility has two components: competency and trustworthiness” Wilson, 1983. Thus, we need to assess the credibility of what we find on the internet, one approach is shown below.

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Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, I always stick with the first thing that comes upon Google,

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Donna M. Lanclos, and Erin M. Hood, ‘I find Google a lot easier than going to the library website.’ Imagine Ways to Innovate and Inspire Students to Use the Academic Library. Proceedings of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) 2013 conference, April 10-13, 2013, Indianapolis

Fogg, B. J. Web Credibility, Stanford University.

Marc, Prensky. Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1, On the Horizon, Vol. 9 No 5, (2001)

Marc, Prensky. Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 2, On the Horizon, Vol. 9 No 6, (2001)

White, David. Visitors and Residents,

White, David. Visitors and Residents: Credibility,

White, David. Visitors and Residents: Mapping activity,

Wilson, Patrick. Second Hand Knowledge, (Praeger), 1983