Thoughts on Dave Cormier’s Alternative Tension Pairs

Creating my visitor-resident typology map of technology use was a process that involved a significant amount of reflection and time.  I had to dig deep and determine how my use of various technologies fit into the four quadrants.  After reading about Dave Cormier’s alternative tension pairs, it occurred to me that creating my typology map was such a challenging exercise because I am very much straddling the divide between the analogue and digital worlds.  My personal comfort zone is a world of paper books, to-do lists scrawled on sticky notes, highlights and notes in the margins, folded down corners, and ramblings in journals.  And yet, I see the power of technology.  Professionally, my inclination is to dive into and embrace technology.  There are tools that help my students read and write, tools that allow my students and I to communicate in real-time from different communities as we live through COVID-19 isolation, tools that allow me to assist my students in keeping their academic materials organized, tools that my colleagues and I use for professional learning communities, tools that keep me in touch with the parents of my students.  I could go on and on and on – the list is endless!  I am left with questions I am keen to explore: Is the analogue-digital tension pair a reality of now, with the resident-visitor tension pair being the direction of the future?  Or, do these different tension pairs apply in different situations and contexts, regardless of increasing participation and interaction in a digital world?


Cormier, D. (2018, March 31). Digital Practices Mapping – Intro activity for digital literacies course. Dave’s Educational Blog.

One thought to “Thoughts on Dave Cormier’s Alternative Tension Pairs”

  1. Hi Amber,
    What I found most interesting about your reflection was the stark divide between personal and professional, and the duality of being a digitally savvy professional with a strong personal preference for analogue. It makes me wonder whether some of us experience a sort of compartmentalization of our identity whereby we are motivated to seek out new tech to support professional activities and then retreat to our personal analogue world? Will our behaviour become increasingly incongruent and unsustainable or will the context, purpose, and motivation, that White describes, allow us to maintain these distinct identities – one online and one offline? – Lisa

    White, D. S., & LeCornu, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).

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