After writing my first post for topic 1, I believed I had a solid understanding of the concept of digital visitors/residents. However, upon reflection, it seems that this debate is not quite so clear-cut. As it turns out, my hesitation stems not from the theory itself, but its practical application to real-life contexts. Judging by the posts and comments of my peers, I was not the only one struggling to pin-point where I fell on the visitor-resident continuum.
Emily’s post expanded my outlook on the theory with the idea that digital engagement can also be placed on a personal-institutional continuum. Visually presenting engagement in this way helps to emphasise the important role of context in this debate. Mapping my own digital engagement (see Figure 1) made me further question mine and others’ identifications as digital residents, which was reflected in my comment.
Another idea that grabbed my attention was Callum’s self-description as a digital ‘lurker’, or someone who has an online identity but does not actively engage in online communities. Immediately, this begged the question of where a ‘digital lurker’ would fall on the visitor-resident continuum.
Finally, Harriet’s post drew my attention to Beetham and Sharpe’s model (2010), describing the different processes that contribute to the development digital literacies. This model helped me to visualise digital engagement as a hierarchy of levels, which we move between as we develop new skills, rather than a fixed label somewhere along a continuum.
Overall, topic 1 has opened my eyes to complexity of the digital world around us. My first taste of UOSM2008 has taught me that a lot can be learned from exploring the opinions of others. Over the course of the next few weeks, I hope to enhance my understanding of digital literacies in the broader context and to also learn and apply digital skills of my own.
Jisc (2014). Developing digital literacies.
Figure 1: Self-produced using Canva.
Figure 2: Jisc (2014). Developing digital literacies.