Completing my ‘Visitor and Resident’ typology map based on David White’s Just the Mapping (White, D.2013) and then the ‘Analogue-Digital’ map based on Dave Cormier’s Digital Practices Mapping (Cormier, D. 2018} made me reflect deeply. It was evident that while I do have an active and far-reaching digital presence, there was opportunity for focus and deliberation. I am digitally savvy and take immense pride on my technology use and collaborative mindset, yet my digital presence did not display or evidence my professional strengths or goals.

My LinkedIn profile has over 500 connections, yet I have not received any call for meaningful partnerships and many of my contacts do not even share my interests. My Twitter profile has 638 followers and I follow 911 other profiles, yet I use it primarily to catch up on news, follow through on tweets about articles that catch my fancy, and share thoughts on random current affairs or books I have read and to re-tweet colleagues. The lines “To Residents, the Web is a place to express opinions, a place in which relationships can be formed and extended. While they use ‘tools’ such as online banking and shopping systems they also use the Web to maintain and develop a digital identity. Since they also undertake many of the activities that Visitors do, their residency is an additional layer of interaction and activity. When Residents log off, an aspect of their persona remains. This could be in many forms ranging from status updates to social networking platforms, to artefacts in media sharing sites or opinions expressed in blog posts or blog comments.” (White, D. S., & LeCornu, A. 2011) made me reflect deeply. I am online every waking moment receiving, processing and contributing content, yet meaningful online activities have been sporadic leading me to consider a new identity, one of a ‘digital drifter ‘over a digital resident which the frequency of my engagement and reach suggest.

As I sat down to work on a plan to create and cultivate my digital presence, I quickly realized the need to start from scratch. This involved asking myself the following questions:

  • What is my desired identity? Why?
  • How does this desired identity compare with who I am in real life?
  • Consider the time I spend online. What is my return on investment right now and what do I want it to be?
  • What skills do I leverage and what do I acquire?
  • How can my MALAT journey guide my digital presence in a way that leads to achieving professional goals?

I have always wanted to be known as a digital learning expert in the Canadian Credit Union sector and over time, create a collaborative learning space for Credit Unions employees. I would like my digital presence and identity to support me in achieving this goal. However, I do need to define my goal and outcomes further and with greater clarity, before I start defining my digital presence and identity.  Once that is done, I need to review, revise and rebuild my current identity. I also need to identify my own knowledge and skills gaps simultaneously and start working on them.  In reviewing the Digital Capabilities Framework by Beetham, H. (2015) and specifically the Digital Capabilities Leader Profile I need to work on digital creation, innovation and scholarship, digital communication, collaboration and participation, digital identity and wellbeing and digital leaning and self-development.  Leveraging this knowledge I need to identify collaborators, contributors, partners and ambassadors, for my approach needs to be collaborative. Considering what Rheingold, H. (2010) says “Collaboration phases into network awareness, which is a bit more complicated.” I am confident that our next assignment Visual Network Mapping will provide me deeper insights into network awareness which will lead me a step further. Working on this assignment has made it abundantly clear that I need to have a clear plan to gain clarity on what I want, why I want what I want, what remedial steps need to be taken to course correct my current digital exposure and how I can leverage my MALAT tools and learnings over the next two years to guide me in this process.

Given this realization, I arrived at a simple 2*2*2 plan, which indicates the nine steps I will take in the next two weeks, two months and over the two years of my MALAT program. I concur with Campbell, G. (2009) on the statement “Sometimes progress is linear. Sometimes progress is exponential: according to the durable Moore’s Law, for example, computing power doubles about every two years. Sometimes, however, progress means looping back to earlier ideas whose vitality and importance were unrecognized or underexplored at the time, and bringing those ideas back into play in a new context.”  This means that I need to engage in deep reflection know myself and my earlier motives better, identify what needs to be reshaped for the current context, what needs to be jettisoned and what needs to be developed.  My plan is just the beginning and in no way complete, however, I am confident about having made a good start.

 

References

Beetham, H. (2015, Nov 10). Building capability for new digital leadership, pedagogy and efficiency [blog post]

Boyd, D. (2011). Social network sites as networked publics: Affordances, dynamics, and implications. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), A Networked Self (pp. 39–58). New York, NY: Rutledge.

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

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention, and other 21st-century social media literacies. Educause Review, 45(5), 14.

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