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digital identity map
Click here to view Figure 1: My Digital Identity

Starting point

This weekend I created a presentation page in the form of a mind map (see Figure 1 above) to visually structure and summarize my digital identity without tension pairs. I will use this visual map as a record for my current digital footprint, so later, I can see how my digital identity has evolved over the course of this program. This map was created using information obtained from Dron & Anderson’s table 1.1 Examples of social software (Dron, Anderson, 2014, p. 11-15).

For the purpose of this post, I use Oliver Ertzscheid’s definition of digital identity as an online persona or collection of traces (e.g., writings, images, audio/video content, forum messages, sign-in details, and avatars) that are consciously or unconsciously left behind (2016). This map displays eight categories that encompass all the spaces on the Web where I leave such traces. I created this map using the Canva mapping template. You may notice a couple of networks repeat themselves; this is on purpose as I engage with them in multiple ways. This map will be handy in providing me with a visual while I start to construct and manage my digital presence, something I will speak more about next.

Curating my digital presence and identity as an academic

This week’s activity was to create a digital identity and digital presence (DIDP) plan to collect strategies and mindsets that will help us build, cultivate and contribute to our networks and communities throughout this program. By creating and cultivating our digital identity and presence, we will have the opportunity to maximize the limitless potential of open, networked learning (Campbell, 2009, para. 8).

As of right now, I have a weak (and in some cases nonexistent) presence across multiple networks and communities. By becoming more “web savvy”  I will make better use of my time online, while affording me the opportunity to create and share content in these digital spaces (Hargittai & Walejko, 2008, para. 6). And, as “skill is related to how people engage with information and communication technologies” (Hargittai & Walejko, 2008, para. 35) there is no better time than now to be present and presentable. Click here to view my DIDP plan, which I will refer to and modify as I move through this program.

Achieving my goals

While I embark on this new and exciting journey of digital awareness, I will focus on being more digitally present while I cultivate my professional persona. My digital presence effort will span all major social networks and communities related to my specific area of interest.

As finding my niche and becoming an expert in my field are two of my top priorities, I will commit most of my time to finding and developing my voice, as I figure out what it is exactly that I want to share with the world. In addition, I will need to address present knowledge gaps in the following areas; theory and practice in language education and the use of technology in the classroom. Presently, I do not have a specific strategy or approach to bridge these gaps; however, with my commitment to expanding my digital presence further, I hope to learn from other professionals while diving into relevant content I come across online. 

Taking the necessary steps to improve my academic writing will help me achieve my communication and content goals. I hope to improve my writing style by joining online writing workshops available on Skillshare, utilizing OER (e.g. the open textbook, Writing for success) I find on the Web, as well as, frequently soliciting help from RRU’s Writing Center.

By the end of the program, using my DIDP plan as my guide, I will continue to expand my digital presence with a commitment to share, connect, and contribute. In two years, I hope to leave RRU with solid professional networks, which include members of my cohort, professors, trail-blazers in my fields of interest, and other professionals worldwide. Most of all, I hope to grow to be seen as a valuable contributor within this learning environment by the end of the program.


What are your thoughts?

Let me know what you think about my DIDP plan. Did I miss anything? Are there any areas I could improve?




Campbell, G. (2009). A personal cyberinfrastructure. Educause Review, 44(5), p. 58-59.

Dron, J, & Anderson, T. (2014). Teaching Crowds. Athabasca University Press. p. 11-15

Ertzscheid, O. 2016. What is digital identity? Issues, tools, methodologies. OpenEdition Press. DOI:10.4000/books.oep.1235, p. 1

Hargittai, E. & Walejko, G. (2008). The Participation Divide: Content creation and sharing in the digital age. Information, Community and Society, 11(2), p. 239-256.