I am currently participating in an online conference that forms part of my MA course, and it is proving fascinating – more reflections will no doubt follow.
One of the presentations on Thursday was from my fellow student Richard Lamb. He discussed the work of Dave White, who has developed a simple method of mapping usage of websites and apps according to whether usage is primarily personal or institutional , and whether you can be considered a digital “resident” or “visitor”. This is partly trying to move on from the discredited concept of digital natives, but mostly to be a tool for reflection and self-awareness. One of the key points it raises is that the same technology can sit in many different areas of the diagram, according to the person using it. There is certainly no “correct” way to use a piece of technology. The video explaining the concept is here:
I was so intrigued by this, and Richard sharing his map, that I decided to construct my own
A number of things immediately strike me about this. Firstly, a lot of usage straddles personal and institutional for me – in other words I largely use the same tools for work and personal life. This is in line with one of the points in the video – we use tools we are comfortable with, whatever the context. Of course, it raises issues of privacy, work-life balance and all sorts of other things too, which I guess we are working through.
For areas where I am a digital resident, having a permanent, interactive presence, I have reflected consciously on where they should sit in the personal/institutional continuum. I see this blog as a personal channel for my own views, bit on the other hand I write primarily about education, which is the field I work in. My Twitter feed, which identifies my employer, I see as primarily for things with some relation to my work, although there is personal stuff in there too. I use LinkedIn as a handy professional address book, although do also use features like groups and discussions from time to time. I made an effort to establish Tumblr as my channel for personal blogging, but so far unsuccessfully. Maybe I am less happy to share personal material than professional, or at least semi-professional?
Many thanks to Richard for an inspiring talk and introducing a tool that I think is very helpful for raising awareness.