Thoughts on Dave Cormier’s Alternative Tension Pair

Dave Cormier (2018) proposes an interesting addendum to Dave White’s Visitor-Resident typology by considering where professional practice fits within the mapping activity. With regards to my own visitor-resident typology map, considering professional practice does not change where my current entries fall, but rather causes more to be added (e.g., printer, digital camera, etc.). Unexpectedly, Cormier’s post did cause me to reflect on digital practices and “how digital a particular practice really is” (para. 10).

Cormier’s question on whether email is a digital practice led me to liken this to the nuances that must be considered when defining digital learning. Recently, I interviewed a former colleague for an assignment in LRNT 525. The topic was about leadership and change management but framed in a digital learning context. When I was asked to define digital learning, despite being 3 courses into the MALAT program, I wasn’t sure exactly how to define it.

Sousa and Rocha (2019) concede that digital learning is complex, and define it using Kyndt et al’s definition “as an unplanned and implicit process with unpredictable results using several types of technological devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, and others” (p. 328) – so does this mean that MALAT synchronous sessions aren’t digital learning? On the other hand, Warschauer (2007) acknowledges that digital learning “relates to how students learn” (p. 44) – so does this mean that students in a classroom using a digital practice (e.g., computer) are solely in a digital learning environment?

I hope as I progress through this program I will be able to find the answers to these questions.



Cormier, D. (2018, March 31). Digital Practices Mapping – Intro activity for digital literacies course [web log].

Sousa Maria José, & Rocha Álvaro. (2019). Digital learning: developing skills for digital transformation of organizations. Future Generation Computer Systems91, 327–334.

Warschauer, M. (2007). The paradoxical future of digital learning. Learning Inquiry1(3), 219–219.

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