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David White

Head of Digital Education and Academic Practice
University of the Arts London
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Researcher Research
David  White


David has worked in various roles where digital, learning and culture meet, including:

Senior lecturer in visual communication
Making proof-of-concept pilots for delivering media online at the BBC
Managing a team of online distance learning developers at the University of Oxford
Leading numerous studies around the impact of the Web on learning and higher education
His best-known and most-used idea is a method of understanding individuals’ motivations to engage online: “Visitors and Residents”. David created a popular online-engagement mapping activity using the Visitors and Residents continuum which is used around the world in a variety of contexts.

David is a regular speaker on topics such as digital identity, digital literacies and online credibility. He has been heard on Radio 4, the World Service and ABC Australia. David is at home blogging, tweeting or creating videos – working in an open manner developing thinking and discourse in online spaces. For him the digital is much more than a set of tools or a chaotic library, it’s a place where we can learn and live.

David’s research focuses on how individuals engage with the Web to support their learning. He work is often underpinned by his ‘Visitors and Residents’ continuum of online engagement which makes a distinction between ‘tools’ and ‘spaces’ online. He has led numerous national studies on the role and value of the Web in higher education and has been involved in significant international research exploring how students go about their learning in digital contexts.

David is particularly interested in the implications of the Web for the role of formal education including the tensions between traditional institutional structures and the Agency the Web offers to individual students and academics.