My Visitor-Resident Typology Map of Technology Use

The exercise of building my visitor-resident typology map was eye-opening and thought-provoking.   While creating this map, I used colours and font size to represent the time and energy investment in the various technologies I visit and/or reside in.  A number of interesting trends emerged.  

First, Google’s various features and products take center-stage in my map, for personal and professional purposes.  Whether I am working on RRU-related tasks, personal reflections, or in collaboration with my work colleagues and students, Google is my go-to space online.  

Second, the visitor quadrants of my map are filled with small tools and spaces that, although not at the top of the list in terms of importance, are present nonetheless.  Visually, this space is busy and overwhelming, which aligns with the general feeling I have in trying to manage all of the tools I access as a visitor.  

Finally, the resident quadrants of my map appear to be relatively sparsely populated, but the tools here occupy rather large plots.  This is representative of the time and value attached to them in terms of social connections, and developing my personal and professional identities.  I use the plural ‘identities’ to signify the distinction between the professional and personal versions of myself that I cultivate in digital spaces.

The rapid advancement of, and increasingly widespread access to technology is changing the nature of the human landscape.  The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated an intensification of this change.  After contemplating my use of technology and mapping it according to the visitor-resident typology, I wonder how much my map will change, and what it will look like, five, ten, twenty years down the road.  

3 thoughts to “My Visitor-Resident Typology Map of Technology Use”

  1. Hi Amber, thanks for sharing your map and insights! As you mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic created a rapid shift in many of our technology use maps. What were some of the most prevalent shifts or additions to your map as a result? I can definitely relate in your statement “resident quadrants of my map appear to be relatively sparsely populated, but the tools here occupy rather large plots”. Especially for the institutional quadrant, the time, effort, and vastness of these 3 or 4 technologies for my work it’s hard to “live” in any additional digital spaces than these. – Zac

  2. Hi Zac,
    Thanks for your comments! As a middle school teacher, my interactions with my colleagues and students have historically occurred in face-to-face contexts. The pandemic forced us to shift to virtual tools and models for our interactions. Staff meetings became Microsoft Teams meetings with new norms and protocols. Team planning with my teaching colleagues moved to collaboration within Google meets and docs. Teaching moved to Google meets and email: meets with full classes, small group meets with students requiring additional support or enrichment, meets with students struggling with the mental health consequences of the pandemic, email communication with students whose self-confidence was an obstacle to comfortably using video or voice to engage, and so on. It was a huge shift and an immediate, emergent, near-vertical learning curve for entire public education systems! I agree completely with you – the technologies I use for institutional purposes are so consuming that diving in to more personal tools has been a challenge.
    – Amber

  3. Hi Amber,

    Your map is amazing, I envy your creativity and your clarity!
    I wondered the same questions about how our maps will change and what they may look like in the future. I also wonder about complexity of “types”. In my opinion, and in my experience, this task is a complex ask. Types are multifaceted, especially for those of us who embody several visitor or resident types. I do not necessarily ascribe to one version or the other. For example, I have an Instagram account as a professional (to work with my students, to showcase their work, with a slice of politicking – student vote, etc.), and one as a private citizen (for my hobbies, family pics and activism). It is still *me* living in these spaces but in different capacities. I wonder if you feel this way too, especially with the sudden transition to virtual learning which has melded many of the tools often used for personal use.


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