Topic 1: Digital ‘Visitors’ and ‘Residents’

Vistors and Residents can be seen as a simple interpretation of how users engage with the web.

The initial background of these categories originate from Marc Prensky’s notations of Digital natives vs Digital Immigrants on how students can be split between the two. He states that students can be organised into each category in reference to their technological ability. Natives refer to those born at cusp of the technological revolution in the sense where they are far more comfortable interacting and operating in a digital world. Whereas Digital immigrants are those who belong to an older generation and find it harder to adapt in today’s increasingly digital world.

The main distinction between the two visitors and residents is the level of engagement one has with the digital world.

Visitors use the internet in a functional manner, the internet is seen far more as a tool to increase the efficiency of reaching their end task. Visitors use the internet with a specific end goal in mind.

Residents however almost use the internet as a second world. A world in which they use a different language to communicate. When residents often use the internet it is not to accomplish an end goal but to simply increase their social presence.

Looking at the table below we can see how visitors and residents are split:


Looking to my own internet usage I would largely side with being a digital resident however being a university student in this current day and age, using the internet is crucial. From having to check emails consistently to using blackboard for assignments I find it hard to side completely with the above interpretation of Digital visitors and residents as more often or not one is required to spend far longer than 6 hrs a week online.

To end below, Professor David White of Oxford University further explains the concept of Digital Visitors and Residents :



Prensky, M., (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.

Prensky, M., (2009). From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom

White, D., (2014). Visitors and Residents. Video. University of Oxford



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s