Digital Identity Digital Presence (DIDP) Plan

My ultimate goal and purpose in cultivating my digital identity and presence throughout the MALAT program is to enhance my skills and practices as an educator working in an increasingly technological world.  Embedded within this goal, I aim to develop my expertise in the area of digital literacies, so that I can best guide my students in becoming digitally literate life-long learners (Ryberg & Georgsen, 2010).

It is necessary to push myself out of the zone of being primarily a visitor into developing a resident presence (White & Le Cornu, 2011) that combines both my personal and professional identities.  Historically, my inclination has been to keep these identities strictly separated, especially in digital environments, and I wonder if this has to be the case moving forward.  Kelly Schryver’s New York Times blog post explores the challenges of determining identity on the web, and which versions of ourselves we choose to be online (2013).  I ask: is it necessary to have to make that choice?  My personal philosophy has been to live a life in which I am respectful, communicative, and considerate of others, while also standing for the things that are worth believing in.  These are characteristics that can easily be transferred to a digital setting.  Furthermore, as a K-12 educator and parent of young children, modelling positive digital citizenship can have a huge impact on the young people I interact with.  Combining my personal values with a public teacher persona to cultivate a positive digital presence and identity is an opportunity to lead by example.

Audrey Watters writes that “it is important to have one’s own space in order to develop one’s ideas and one’s craft” (2015).  This is further supported by David White and Alison Le Cornu in their statement that “A blog post is as much an expression of identity as it is a discussion of particular ideas” (2011).  This led to the decision that developing a presence on Twitter, and actively contributing to my MALAT blog and the blogs of my classmates, would be the best course of action to achieve my goals.  It will be possible to make connections beyond my current K-12 education networks through active communication and interaction with my fellow MALAT classmates in a public domain – our blogs.  By tracking my interactions, I hope to develop relationships and engage with every single one of my classmates throughout the program.

There are a number of skills and knowledge gaps that will be addressed as I progress as a MALAT student:

  • Learning about educational technologies, and assessing the relevance and potential impact in K-12 environments.
  • Increasing my comfort level with experimenting with new digital tools.
  • Refining my academic writing skills by regularly visiting RRU’s Writing Centre and reading books of choice.
  • Sharing my blog and work with colleagues at my school to gather input and constructive feedback.
  • Seeking solutions for issues or problems that arise by connecting with my RRU classmates and/or support networks.
  • Collaborating and learning from my fellow students.  
  • Engaging in course readings and participating in discussion opportunities with my classmates.

I will measure my success by actively engaging through my MALAT blog posts, developing a presence on Twitter, interacting with my classmates in formal and informal settings, bringing my learning experiences to the staff at my school, and applying what I learn to the work I do with my students.  A long-term measure of success is writing a paper or article that might one day be published.  This could be an opportunity to bring my belief in technology and the power of public education to a broader audience, and for other educators to encounter best practices to implement in their classrooms.

One final piece is acknowledging and recognizing the pressure I put on myself to perform to a certain level and produce products that are polished and “perfect”.  That being said, a thought has been repeatedly appearing at the forefront of my mind.  It is essential to my growth and learning to acknowledge that I will get as much, and probably even more, out of the process of my MALAT experiences, along with the products I create.  Central to cultivating my digital identity and digital presence is recognizing when the critical voice inside my head is an obstacle.  When that happens, and it will, I will remind myself that there is immeasurable value in the learning process, and the Amber that arrives at the end of this journey will be the result of persevering through the challenges that arise.  

References

Ryberg. T., & Georgsen, M. (2010). Enabling Digital Literacy. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 2(5).

Schryver, K. (2013, February 5). Who Are You Online? Considering Issues of Web Identity. The New York Times: The Learning Network. https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/guest-post-who-are-you-online-considering-issues-of-web-identity/ 

Watters, A. (2015, July 15). The Web We Need To Give Students. Bright. https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.a2rmav7fp 

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

8 thoughts to “Digital Identity Digital Presence (DIDP) Plan”

  1. I can relate to this self critical outlook you talk about. Particularly when we are posting our own content and thoughts on social media. I often write a Twitter post related to education and then before posting, delete it because what if I haven’t considered my message or opinion from every angle? What if my message does not land the way I intended? This self doubt that arises before I expose myself online with posting seems common as I read our class blogs.
    I also appreciate your comments about not necessarily having to overthink your presence if your activity aligns with your values. I will try to keep that in mind when that self doubt comes up for me. Thanks for your post!

    1. Yes! I’ve had so many similar experiences. Self doubt seems to come hand in hand with the drive and desire to learn that brought us all to this program. It is oddly comforting to know this is a struggle that our cohort has in common. In today’s session, Dr. Childs spoke about how we will make connections, synthesize ideas, and dive into the work and literature of others to support our academic writing. I was thinking this is something we can apply in any situation, regardless of platform or method of communication. If we are mindful and critical about what we post, and knowledgeable in terms of our sources of information, we can have confidence in the presence we are cultivating online. Thanks for your comments. I am looking forward to connecting again soon!

  2. Well said Amber! I’ve owned a copy of A Room of One’s Own for years and haven’t yet read it. I started this week. I’m looking forward to being one of your new contacts and seeing how we all create spaces for ourselves to create.

    You’ve listed a number of skills and knowledge gaps. Which one will be the hardest for you?

    1. Hi Corie,

      This is such an exciting time! It is fabulous to be able to make connections and have these conversations within our MALAT blog spaces. I love the idea that we will be able to return to these first blogs of ours to see how our skills and thinking evolve over the course of the program.

      I would say that pushing myself to use new digital tools to create an open, more public presence is going to be a challenging area. I tend to stick to my comfort zones, especially if my confidence is lacking. The other challenge I am going to have is working on my academic writing skills, and trusting that I will progress as a writer. Sometimes I become fixated on producing a perfect result, and can spiral around minute details in the moment. In those moments, I will have to remind myself to step back and look at the bigger picture.

      You will have to let me know what you think of A Room of One’s Own!

  3. Hi Amber,
    I really liked the point you raised about “modelling positive digital citizenship can have a huge impact on the young people”. Educators are in a great position to do this and I believe as parents that we have to lead by example and that we have to have a level of digital literacy to keep up with our kids/”digital natives”. I have friends who have had to create social media accounts to follow their children and struggle to figure how it works.

    Happy to go on the Twitter journey with you and figure it out. Do you have a timeline of when you will set up the account? And do you foresee any challenges you/we may face with Twitter?
    Gail

    1. Hi Gail,
      I would love to go on this Twitter journey with you! I joined recently and so far I love it. What a great tool to connect with other people and stay informed about what is going on in various areas and industries. My handle is @DonahueAmber when you are ready.
      – Amber

      1. Hi Amber,
        Glad to hear that you are enjoying Twitter. Any challenges so far? Pretty easy to use? I will join by the week’s end. Look forward to connecting with you via Twitter.
        Gail

        1. Hi Gail,
          I have definitely found it easy to use, and I can see the potential for using Twitter for networked learning. In terms of challenges, I need continue to reflect on the identity I wish to cultivate within this platform, and make connections that reflect that identity. When you join, you can find me at @DonahueAmber. Looking forward to connecting!
          – Amber

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *