Digital natives and immigrants vs residents and visitors

18 09 2008

Thanks to Andy Paul of e-foundations for pointing me towards Dave White’s piece on online user types, Not ‘natives’ and ‘immigrants’ but ‘vistors’ and residents’ , which posits an alternative distinction to that of digital native/ digital immigrant when classifying how people use the internet. He describes a ‘resident’ as ‘an individual who lives a percentage of their life online. The web supports the projection of their identity and facilitates relationships’, while a ‘visitor’ is ‘an individual who uses the web as a tool in an organised manner whenever the need arises.’ It’s a useful distinction and easier to understand than the ‘native/immigrant’ divide. I think I fall somewhere between the two, something which applies to White’s suggestion that educational institutions should use approaches that suit both ‘residents’ and ‘vistors’ when providing online services.



One response

29 09 2008

Just a little correction – it’s Andy Powell, not Paul.

I would also characterise myself as between the two somehow although towards the resident end (perhaps I’m a digital timeshare?)

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