In this video, Dr. White does an excellent job of explaining the Resident – Visitor Theory (VR) developed at Oxford University. As he explains, this theory is a guide towards understanding and assessing different motivations people have towards the Internet. This theory can out of a study called, “ISTHMUS” attempting to bridge the culture of he Internet with education. This theory is similar to the Natives – Immigrants Theory in the question that researching are studying, but comes to different conclusions. In the VR Theory, researchers found no difference between age groups and motivation in terms of one being a correlation of the other.
What they did find is that people have very different motivations for using the Internet. People, the researchers found, can be categorized into two distinct groups, Residents and Visitors. This is particularly true in regards to social platforms. They seem to perpetuate the differences between these two groups. These two groups behave differently and have different attitudes toward online communities based largely on underlying attitudes toward benefits and paranoia’s.
The differences are pretty clear. Residents are described as people who gain fulfillment in an online community by utilizing and updating some sort of social media platform like Facebook. Visitors do not gain the same fulfillment and as a result, tend to see the negative aspects of such openness as an unnecessary risk. It should be noted that Residents don’t share the same concern because they see their community as one that consists largely of people that are already members of their social network and see the online platform as just an extension of those existing relationships. It should also be noted that being a Resident does not necessarily equate to collaboration.
I question two aspects of the video: 1. I question the belief that social media networks are an extension of existing social networks. 2. I question whether or not skills like research are non-digital skills. I think, particularly with regard to the first, that social media platforms have evolved so that a lot of people are using them to essentially market themselves. Platforms like Instagram in particular come to mind. I’ve personal scene a huge rise in the way teenagers use Instagram as a way to market themselves by generating traffic and “Likes”. There’s a small market for software that artificially generates Likes, and being “Instafamous” is part of the new vernacular of teens. This might be a subcategory of Residents, but it seems to be a growing category.
I also question the impact that the findings might have on the way we use these platforms to teach. I think that teachers are using the Internet in education for a variety of purposes, and these different purposes seem to be fitting for both groups. For example, one teacher might use online platforms like Kahoot for actual instructional aid, while others tend to use social media for things like classroom organization (assigning homework, giving reminders, etc.). The former would appeal to the characteristics of the Resident, while the later might appeal to the Visitor.