My Digital Resident & Visitor Map

I’m putting together a session for college and community leaders on digital platforms and professional development. It’s a short session – I only have 30 minutes.   Additionally, there are pre-set criteria for the session that essentially boil down to requiring an experiential adult learning experience. In short, I need to offer a taste of something larger and compelling, but that is also discreet, active, and meaningful on its own.

I’m struggling.  Thirty minutes is not a long time.

However, I often find that all goodness starts with completing a Visitors and Residents Mapping Exercise.  The digital visitor/resident model was introduced by David WhiteDonna Lanclos, and colleagues in 2011.  The model represents a spectrum of behaviors (visitors to residents) as compared to the older and now debunked digital natives narrative, which focuses on discrete groups of people.

When acting as digital visitors, people consider digital platforms as tools. Their behavior tends to be goal oriented.  They limit their time online to what is required to achieve their goals and tend to get offline without leaving much of a digital trace or identity. In contrast, digital residents perceive digital platforms as spaces more than tools: spaces that can be linked together and inhabited along with other people.  They tend to spend more time on the platform, leaving artifacts and developing identities within those spaces.

A simplified version of my digital map, as of October 2016

This is my digital map. It shows how someone can be a digital resident and visitor at the same time both within and across platforms.  It shows that I tend to mix my personal and professional use of digital platforms.  It shows Google Hangouts as a significant area of context collapse; I use it as a tool to be sure, but it is also a space where I talk to my friends about their families, conduct research meetings, and give guest lectures…sometimes back-to-back, sometimes in the same hangout.  I have literally had girlfriend chats that shifted into business meetings that shifted back into girlfriend chats – changes signified through the on air button. Another interesting overlap occurs at blogging, instagram, and twitter.  I use these platforms differently, but my followers significantly overlap.  Instagram is kind of like my B side.

I like my map.  Now I just need to jump from this to a micro-presentation.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ken Bauer says:

    Yes, 30 minutes is really short so you can’t just pack it all into that 30. You need to jolt them with something that will keep them going long after that session. V&R is great to think about it, my students really dug this during that session with Bonnie, Autumm and Sundi for #iTecGDA.

    I’m left wondering what my B-side is and if I even have one anymore. It used to be cooking and entertaining but the daily shuffle of full-time teaching loads for myself (the associate professor full-time thing) and my wife (teaching more than a full load as a sessional instructor) and three kids has left us with one lone entertaining evening at our house this semester. That *must* change soon.


    1. Laura Gogia says:

      Hi Ken. If you look at my bside, you’ll see it’s all the things you are talking about – its the cooking pics and the kid pics and the family trip pics and the selfies while waiting in carpool line pics and pretty flower pics etc. It’s all the in between 🙂


      1. Ken Bauer says:

        I have an instagram account, I actually abandoned it then created a new one but really haven’t used it much. I may reconsider.


  2. Maha Bali says:

    I was wondering if ur kids even know what a B side is 🙂 as a metaphor of something they may never have seen? I mean I understand it’s a reference to a music single release or something and its B side (which rarely ever gets noticed?) or a cassette tape where B side almost has no known songs. Or something

    I was also wondering if you know anything about the participants’ backgrounds? I haven’t used the visitor/resident mapping per se but I do different kinds of mappings along 2 axes…but I allow groups to choose different sets of axes depending what they want to ask themselves. So it’s about digital tools and the axes could be around synchronicity or around public/private or text-based vs A/V or any other spectrum. And mapping tools is helpful but also mapping pedagogies can be even more helpful and then matching tools to pedagogies. Or if they aren’t pedagogues then mapping tools to functionalities or such.

    What I am trying to say is…u already know where u r comfortable and where not. Now why would u learn a new tool? Or try to be resident in it? Because there’s some function or purpose that tool can help u achieve that u didn’t realize was possible before because you weren’t using the tool. Or something. Not always why we try things but we aren’t normal people that way haha


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