What is a Digital visitor? Well, it may very well be accurately described by using me and my attitude towards digital connectivity and relation to technology as an example. First, in my life and the way that I live with and relate myself to technology, I have never developed a natural aptitude for using technology. For me technology is first and foremost a tool that I use in my profession as a researcher and teacher. My “backyard” is legal databases, governmental authorities’ home pages, and occassionally also selected Twitter, Linkedin and ResearchGate accounts of researchers who I know and have added to my list of contacts myself. In my visitor mode I hardly ever leave a footprint behind by making comments or engaging with the account owner (White & Le Cornu, 2011)

The question that I have been asking myself for some time (though before entering the course Open Networked Learning without being aware of the developed scientific distinction between visitors and residents) is whether I should change my attitude and behaviour online? And indeed also, do I want to? I think of myself as a semi-social creature. I enjoy the company of others and absolutely renew my energy levels in social interaction, discussion and every day conversations. But I don´t need it. I am very happy going on my own adventures, finding out about life and making new experiences on my own without the distraction of and exposure to what other people think, know or wish to share with me. 

Clearly, since I have enrolled myself into a course that targets e.g., digital literacy, the answer that I have arrived at is that I think I should develop a new strategy to my online behaviour and start to actively explore my potential as a digital resident persona. I believe that it is important (and research seem to agree with me, that it is important; Developing digital literacies (2014) JISC guide) that I expand my professional engagment and practices to the wider online research community, learn how to collaborate in online settings, increase my ICT literacy and actively participate in digital networks.

It will mean stepping out of my comfort zone, posting this on my very own blog is my first staggered step. Doing this (and I don´t mean the blogging in itself, although one never knows!) will undoubtedly contribute to my own development as a researcher – and teacher. My intention, as a teacher and course director at the law programme at Stockholm University, is that I will be able to use my own progression and digital literacy development to help and inspire our talented and energetic law students to do the same – the students that I meet almost every week and whom I cherise and treasure as the future of our legal society and defenders of justice!

By actively engaging myself as a learner I hope to be better equipped to stay intuned with my students level of digital competence and also use this knowledge when I design my courses and decide what the relevant learning outcomes of my courses should be, and which technology I should use to help my students reach them. For instance by providing them with assessment tools that they can use to find out more about their level of digital competence, regardless of wheter they perceive themselves to posses high level skills or not, and regardless of wheteher this self-perception is accurate – which is not always the case (Littlejohn et. al (2012)), and giving them support to develop their skills in the particular areas that are useful for them (for example using a test to discover their digital literacies,like the one develped by the PriDE project at the University of Bath)        

If you are interested in these questions as well, and wan´t to know more about students levels of digital literacy, how you can identify and develop your own digital literacy, I recommend you to start with reading the sources that I have mentioned here – in my first blog post ever!

Why do some people insist on being just digital visitors? … It’s me! Hi. I’m the problem it’s me!