Unit 5 | Digital Presence reflection and Activity 1

As we approach the conclusion of LRNT 521 as the first course of the MALAT program it is time to reflect on the learning outcomes and the effectiveness of my original Digital Presence Plan.

I originally recognized that I do not participate enough in Social Media environments and committed to increase and improve my Digital Presence for which I created a LinkedIn account, I have added a few personal contacts and some of my MALAT colleagues; while I don’t see myself being an active contributor I see the benefit of being part of such platform. Some personal friends from overseas have mentioned that many headhunters have contacted them via LinkedIn and they have closed good contracts or have found better job opportunities, I find them both positive and encouraging . I also acknowledged my lack of interest to cultivate a personal and/or professional online identity (Schryver, 2013).

I still have a hard time thinking of a personal online presence as an addition to my lifestyle, however, for professional purposes I think that after taking this course I understand better the potential benefits and impacts of creating and preserving a professional digital identity, being part of it is just the beginning of endless opportunities.

Lastly, I also committed to keep an open mind that sees beyond the technical side of things when it comes down to technology  and I definitely learned a lot, the course has provided plenty of resources with great information relevant to current events and learning environments that I feel I have now a much better understanding of them. In addition to my original plan, I have had the opportunity to work with great peers, people who are leaders on their fields of work, amazing professionals that for the last nine weeks have also contributed to my learning experience. I am excited to move forward and can’t wait to see what else the MALAT program has to offer!

Digital Presence and Identity Plan Update


References

Schryver, K. (2013). Who are you online? Considering issues of web identity. The New York Times blogs. https://bit.ly/3e3rFNQ

Access to Education for Students with Disabilities.

By Karen McMurray, Paula Insell and Luis Rodriguez.

A key finding in our research is that digital learning environments support information delivery in multiple formats supporting accessibility for students with disabilities. Incorporating multiple means of representation is one of the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

To see how multiple means of expression can be applied in a learning environment check out Karen’s and Paula’s blogs to see how information can be shared through offering alternatives.

*Click the bottom-right corner of the image to watch it in Full Screen.

Visual Network Map and Reflection

Kumu was an easy-to-use tool that I used to create my Virtual Map. Placing myself as the main nod and see how far the ramifications of my networks can get was quite interesting. I went back to David White’s Visitor-Resident Map video to use as a reference and to help me build this map too. I identified three main networks: Personal, Work and Academic. I found myself again to be a Visitor in most of the networks I use and I realized that I contribute very little or nothing at all in most of them. One of the goals of my Digital Presence Plan is to widen my Digital presence and have a more active participation in the current networks I use and the new ones I will join. By becoming a graduate student of this program my networks have already grown and I have already made new connections.  I can’t wait to see how much “bigger and messier” my networks will become as we move forward in this program.


References

White, D. (2013, Sep 13). Just the Mapping [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK1Iw1XtwQ

Digital Identity and Digital Presence Plan

     After the enlightening experience of creating my digital typology map (White, 2011), I realized that most of my map was significantly busier in the Resident-Institutional side. I also had the opportunity to reflect on my personal online digital presence which it is mostly on the Visitor side and it could be considered as rich or as poor depending on who you ask, although I understand how many Social platforms function I have chosen not to be a part of them; personal privacy and public opinion are the two anchors that have held me down from getting myself more out there in a digital and social way, however, I recognize that “we need to expand our thinking of digital skills or information literacies to include social media literacies.” (Rheingold, 2010) and this program is already challenging me to face those fears and transform a huge personal weakness in hopefully a powerful strength.

     Since I provide tech support to a lot of people on a daily basis I am consistently keeping up with new trends, devices and technologies. Because of the skills that I have gained over the years I have a tendency to understand new technologies fairly quickly and to find a useful way to implement them in different environments. However, after joining this program and in such a short period of time, my opinions about some digital platforms have already changed, my interest on learning more about it has sparked and my digital social interactions have already grown within my cohort and will continue to do so.

      According to Rheingold (2010), “The technologies that we have in our pockets today are powerful engines for participation” (Rheingold, 2010) and with this in mind I recognize three knowledge gaps: first, I do not participate enough in Social Media environments, second, I have never shown real interest in having an actual personal or professional online Identity (Schryver, 2013), and lastly, I do not have the literacy that is necessary to collaborate and interact with others in these digital environments. To successfully reduce these knowledge gaps, I plan to try really hard to not get stuck on the technical side of things, and to focus more on the literature and resources provided in this program. Second, I will create a Professional Online Identity by using Apps with different capabilities that may provide me with many benefits/opportunities still to be discovered.


References

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention, and other 21st-century social media literacies. Educause Review, 45(5),pp 14-24.  http://er.educause.edu/articles/2010/10/attention-and-other-21stcentury-social-media-literacies

Schryver, K. (2013). Who are you online? Considering issues of web identity. The New York Times blogs. https://bit.ly/3e3rFNQ

White, D. S., & LeCornu, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagementFirst Monday, 16(9).  https://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049

Resident-Visitor typology map

     Mapping my digital presence was a great way to identify how many digital environments and networks I am a part of, it was also very interesting to see how many of those networks were inexistent to me a few years ago and how some others very quickly have moved from the Visitor quadrant to the Resident one and vice versa.

     In this new era of accelerated technological progress we introduce ourselves to others with the technology we use and sometimes we do it without us noticing. It doesn’t necessarily happen verbally but thru our behavior. We identify ourselves as Android or Apple users for example, or when working online we have a preferred browser like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Explorer or Mozilla among others. I am definitely an Android user and my favorite browser is Google Chrome, thus the use of its logo in the center of my map, I use it every day! The use of many programs and apps on my “personal upper half” are mostly for entertainment. I use WhatsApp to keep in touch with family and friends both locally and overseas. Spotify and Sirius XM have become the music suppliers at home and in our vehicles. Alexa is a fun imaginary assistant we have at home. Banking is now available at our fingertips and 24/7. The whole Google platform has become the core of my digital world while Netflix and YouTube are our streaming platforms on our TVs. Facebook is currently my only social media platform, and I simply use it as a photo album and to stay in touch with family and friends.

     The “institutional lower half” include all those programs that I use on a daily basis to perform at work, some are used more than others on a daily basis. Each one of these programs, networks, systems etc. has provided me with a set of skills that has grown over time and continues to grow rapidly. Some programs required specific on-the-job training such as PBS or the General Motors web platform; others I learned thru Education or previous work experience, and some others I simply learned “on the fly”. I decided to enclose all four quadrants in an inner circle that represents the “essentials” of my digital life today and as I venture to explore and participate in more circles there will be more personal and institutional knowledge acquired. My sons’ sports groups now have Apps to register, chat, do Covid-19 pre-screenings and to interact with other parents. Academically speaking, I now find myself using Moodle and WordPress on a daily basis, and by the looks of it, will continue to be that way for another 2 years along with this amazing MALAT team.


References

White, D. (2013, Sep 13). Just the Mapping [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK1Iw1XtwQ

 

2021 Virtual Symposium Reflection

    For a full week I had the great opportunity to participate in the 2021 MALAT Virtual Symposium where a series of speakers, professionals, academics and future graduates of this program shared their knowledge, experience and views on digital learning environments, networks and communities. As I try to keep an open mind, I constantly ask myself – what have I gotten myself into? – Although I have found the first three weeks of the MALAT program overwhelming, I have also found them rewarding in many ways.

    As a landed immigrant, and having lived and worked in two different countries prior to Canada I immediately empathized with Amanda Coolidge’s words “my sense of belonging is really hard to pinpoint and describe” (Acoolidge, 2021, 05:13) and just like that! I was intrigued and wanted to hear more about her life and career journey. Coolidge’s presentation was about Open Education which she describes as “sharing, collaboration and breaking down barriers of accessing Education and knowledge” (Acoolidge, 2021, 08:01). I agreed on her idea of creating a sustainable environment for Education. With an out-of-control pandemic it has become evident that the delivery of Education needs to be more “open”. I was quite pleased with Amanda’s presentation and it was very satisfying to listen to someone as passionate as her about accessibility, affordability, and in providing students with everything they need to be successful (Acoolidge, 2021).

    Fulfilled with enthusiasm from Amanda Coolidge’s presentation I decided to join live Earl Inarson’s presentation to learn about his Research Project How can we incorporate Indigenous Worldviews in the creation of online culturally safe learning environments? . I currently live, work and play in the land of Ktunaxa territory and became interested in Earl’s study even more after learning he grew up in Cranbrook and the Kootenay region where coincidentally is where I currently reside. For a couple of years, I worked at one of the most beautiful resorts, golf course and casino which back in the day used to be a residential school; despite its “bad” past it is now one of the most beautiful destinations the East Kootenay region has to offer. While working there, I learned about the Ktunaxa people, their culture and their hard upbringing. I found Earl’s research project to be relevant and informational, and found his personality to be very inspiring. “I want you to know that you can do this!” (Einarson, 2021, 31:46)

    In conclusion, I found the 2021 MALAT Virtual Symposium as a great opportunity to see where we as a cohort are at and where we are headed, without losing sight that the journey is what really matters. Learning from others is something I find very valuable. Interacting with experts of the field, soon-to-be graduates and program coordinators has been so far meaningful and encouraging.


References

Coolidge, A. (2021, April 12). Open education: what it is; what it does and its amazing impact! [Virtual Symposium]. MALAT [Virtual Symposium]. Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC, Canada. https://ca.bbcollab.com/collab/ui/session/playback

Einarson, E. (2021, April 12). How can we incorporate Indigenous Worldviews in the creation of online culturally safe learning environments? MALAT [Virtual Symposium]. Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC, Canada. http://bit.ly/EarlMarkVS2021