V&R map

22nd March 2021

I was looking forward to the first topic with PBL group 5 – online participation and digital literacies – the useful quadrant developed by David White using a “visitor” and “resident” continuum and further divided by “personal” and “institutional” was particularly enlightening in replacing the “Digital Native” and “Digital Immigrant” binary set out by Marc Prensky.

V&R map
The Visitor and Resident Quadrant

The Ted talk while entertaining (I enjoyed the use of the meme to show how remixing works) was less helpful and perhaps needed a little more scaffolding to show its relevance.  

For the PBL discussion itself I worked with another member of the group on a section that related to the topic, “information literacy”. We uncovered a useful website around the topic, as well as a journal article. There appeared to be a similar approach where levels of information literacy (according to the American Library Association, “Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to ‘recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” ) are described and you can place individuals along that trajectory based on the skills they possess. Digital literacies can be seen to be a part of information literacy (alongside academic and media literacy for example), where computer literacy (and ability to access the world wide web) is dominant.

The case study was interesting – it was meant, I expect, to function in a “meta” way, for us to be aware of how we are feeling at the start of the ONL course and where we place ourselves in terms of online participation and digital literacy. Are we residents or visitors? Do we have the skills to be digitally literate? So the purpose (I am assuming) is to move us towards resident status – thus the blog posts where we make an investment in our digital presence, and also upscale our digital literacy skills. For the latter what I found is that it is immensely helpful to be within a community of peers who are just as keen on this process. One of the more intrepid members of my group introduced us to “ThingLink”, and we showcased our team’s collaboration on the first topic there. This was in contrast to the scenario attached to the topic where the person is both isolated and feeling anxious. The main takeaway I got then is that above the theory being part of a (helpful) group or community is what can make the most difference on a person’s online participation and level of digital literacy.  


American Library Association (2000) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Chicago, Illinois: The Association of College and Research Libraries A division of the American Library Association.

Webber, S., & Johnston, B. (2000). Conceptions of information literacy: new perspectives and implications. Journal of Information Science, 26, 381 – 397.

White, D.S. and Le Cornu, A, (2011, 5 September) “Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement” in First Monday, Volume 16, Number 9.


The Topic 1 Blog: Online Participation & Digital Literacies