Reflective Summary: Living and Working on the Web: Tool vs Place?

Before starting the module, the idea of categorising people on the Web into ‘digital natives’, ‘digital immigrants’ or ‘digital residents’ and ‘digital visitors’ has never crossed my mind. Obviously, as a person who is closer to the ‘digital resident’ end of White and Cornu (2011)’s digital visitors and residents continuum, I do use the Web on a daily basis, or even hourly basis. However, I have never thought of how being born at the digital age will make me any different from my parents in terms of how we use the Web, or maybe I was just never aware of it.

This thought-provoking topic has really raised my awareness of a good balance between my approaches towards the use of web – I reckon a combination of both visitors approach and residents approach will give best results in my studies. For instance, I could use the visitors approach when doing a research for sources and the residents approach when asking for a friend’s opinion or useful information.

On the other hand, even though it was intriguing and interesting to read about these new ideas, I found that I have put myself in a box after reading about the ‘residents’, ‘visitors’, ‘immigrants’ and ‘natives’ frameworks, and failed to think of other possibilities. Thus, I found it extra helpful to have read Will and Claire’s blogs, this have given me a chance to have a glimpse at others’ thoughts and hence opening up my eyes again and thinking outside the box. In the first place, Claire’s blog suggested that amount of support and structure required for all students varies in education, this made me more aware of the fact that individual differences should not be ignored, and as every student have different background, learning environment, their style and effectiveness of learning may vary even at the same age. This blog has also inspired me to come up with the thought of ‘Nature vs. Nurture’ when it comes to technical capability of different people.

Apart from this, it was mentioned in Will’s blog that other than ‘visitors’ and ‘residents’ there should be ‘creators’ too. This has helped me to come to a conclusion that we should not put ourselves in boxes and act within our dedicated ‘role’, as we all learn, assimilate and integrate knowledge everyday, we may constantly switch between ‘visitors’, ‘residents’, ‘creators’ or even more approaches. Thus, why should we categorise ourselves into different roles? Like Wenger (1998) has pointed out, we are all members of multiple communities and have to negotiate our roles and identities as we navigate the ‘nexus’ of communities we belong to, that is, our approaches should change depending on context!

Links to my comments:

Will’s Blog

https://whatwouldwilldo.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/none-of-the-above/#comment-1

Claire’s Blog

https://clairecheungblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/so-you-think-youre-a-digital-resident/#comment-2

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