1.1 Digital visitor or digital resident?

What do digital technology and communicating with smartphones or other devices mean to you?

Digital literacy is influenced by factors such as your personal interests and motivations, or any job requirements you may have.

It will certainly be influenced by your experiences. The level of your digital literacy partly depends on when you were born: are you a digital visitor or a digital resident?

(Note that ‘digital visitor’ and ‘digital resident’ (JISC, 2014; OCLC Research, 2020) are preferred to the broadly equivalent earlier terms, ‘digital immigrant’ and ‘digital native’ (Buckingham, 2013), which you may be familiar with. These latter two terms were coined in 2001 by Marc Prensky and are now contested – even by Prensky himself – and so are no longer used (Wikipedia, 2020).)

Activity 3 will give you a clearer idea of how you use and appropriate digital technologies in your everyday life.

Activity 3: Use of digital communication technologies

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

How did you use digital technology before the corona crisis?

Open this survey in a new tab or window [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and then return to this course once you’ve completed it.

This is an anonymous vote. Once you have answered the survey, you will be able to see the collective responses of other people on the course.

Pause for reflection

Were you surprised by the results? What do you make of your use of digital technology in your everyday life? Based on this, how confident are you about employing digital technology and devices for your therapeutic work with clients?

Even if you do not feel overly confident now, by the end of studying this primer course you will hopefully feel supported in offering online counselling safely and effectively when face-to-face work is not possible. In the next section you will learn more about the key ethical, technological, legal, clinical and practical issues involved in therapeutic working online.

You should now move on to Topic 2: Technological, legal, ethical and practical considerations.