Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’

It is interesting how quickly buzz words or phrases come in and out of fashion. Over the last few years the terms “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” were in common usage, perhaps this now needs to change?

As part of a funded project the University of Oxford have been looking at how students use technology, not what technologies they use.

In the course of their research they found that the students could not be categorized as either “Natives” or “Immigrants” they found that this distinction “does not help guide the implementation of technologies it simply provides the excuse that some people ‘just don’t get it’ which is why your new approach has failed so badly…”

It was found that their students didn’t use technology because they had some inherent skill, rather they used it if they “saw it as a place to live” i.e. they were comfortable within a virtual world or if they had a particular need for technology- think Face Book or Twitter.

Their research led them to classifying their students into two categories-

  • The ‘Resident’- The resident is an individual who lives a percentage of their life online.
  • The ‘Visitor’- The Visitor is an individual who uses the web as a tool in an organised manner whenever the need arises.

Read the blog post by clicking here, we’d be interested in your comments.


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