Topic 1 Reflection

This is now my second blog and before I actually started this module I never realised how difficult it is to consistently write a blog. Blogs have become so common in todays culture and before I actually attempted to write one I underestimated the actual difficulty of writing a blog.

Nevertheless upon my initial reading off the material such as Prensky’s work I was pretty sure I could be considered a digital resident. My opinion of this has not changed however before understanding the differences between natives and immigrant I was unaware there was an actual classification. I often believed most people used the web in the same way I did. I decided to follow up my initial blog with a few short conversations with my housemates regarding their web use. Now most of my housemates use the web to the same extent as I do however I was surprised to find that a few used it more and one believed they weren’t a native but more of a resident that made them lie more with white and cornu’s digital resident and visitor.

After reading a few of the other blogs in particular Alex’s and Harriet’s I believe I have seen a slightly common trend that most believe that the initial classification system of having definitive native/immigrants or residents/visitors is flawed and many people cannot be completely categorised given a multitude of variable such as someone born before the digital revolution although have quickly adapted and therefore embraced the digital age far better than many people born after the digital revolution. Having been on this module for only a week I have certainly learn a few new concepts that do relate to my everyday life however given a longer time period I would like to test their relevancy and to what to extent.


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