Who am I? What is Digital Identity?

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

This project has given me an opportunity to learn in a way that has motivated me beyond anything I have ever experienced before. The biggest learning, is that I can still become overwhlemed with “work expectations” and I am brought them all onto myself.  In every other learning experience, I have always been able to blame the teacher if I thought there was too much work, or I was confused…In this learning experience, I can’t use blame. If I am overwhlemed, then I have to figure out how to work on balance, if I don’t undertsand something, then I have to find the answer and if I don’t know “how much” is enough or what a product should “look like” then I have to be open to finding feedback in many different forms.

The learning is scary because it is so unknown and wonderfully exhilerating because it is so unknown.

But where am I in all this? As a learner, I started this adventure as a parent and educator who is frustrated that Educational Technology is not a common standard across my school district. I never know what to expect when I meet my kid’s teachers. It’s not just that a teacher may focus on “math” or “reading” or social studies” one year – I can accept that all teachers have their focus areas. What I mean is, why aren’t all teachers using educational technology in their classrooms as a way to encourage personalized learning and extend Bloom’s Taxonomy opportunities.

Then I started to realize that the idea of “connectivism” is also about connected learning – to me that means learning from others. What I have learned through twitter , and Connectedleanring.tv and the peeragogy.org handbook and countless other adventures I have had along the way…is that there is a lot going on out there, and I was the one not choosing to discover “how” to connect myself “into” the loop.  These connections take time and energy. I have learned that I prefer LIVE social media to recordings and archives. You have to meet at a specific time to make a ConnectedLearningtv show (they are recorded, but it’s wonderful live), or to make an #edchat or any hashtag discussion (I was blown away in a future of education discussion the other day…) or to skype someone based on a tweet…I now consider Rodd Lucien a friend after chatting with him about unplug’d.

I kept goinga nd going trying connect anc connect – and I was beginning to feel a bit – disjointed….

And then I came back to my “center” – who I really am…a mom…

Last night I spoke with Joy Bowen-Eyre. She is a Calgary School Board trustee who has recently had someone create a blog for her and it was created in the hopes people would think it was her. This cyberbullying has promoted her to look into digital identity. I mentioned my #DigiFoot12 course on her website and tweeted it, and she phoned me to chat about the course and about possible opportunities for online digital footprint awareness for stduents (my kids!!!!) in the CBE and hers. I was totally in awe of this fantastic woman who is enthusisatic and determined to support parents, students and educators…But most importantly she is a mom -and she realizes that we aren’t learning the skills to “protect” ourselves online as adults or as kids. We need to work together. She talked about one of the biggest struggles is connecting to parents – getting our input…I laughed…how to overcome the intimidation? Creating a new culture? The real paradigm shift?

So while I have come full circle – and I now have someone taking the course who has the same interests at heart that I do (I found at least one audience member)….I wonder how I got here? Where did I get the courage to e-mail, tweet people and connect? Why is it so important to me…and why did they chat to me? Their time and energy was so prcious and appreciated!  I definitely got lost along the way and had NO idea what direction to go in….but I kept trying..and I am looking forward to an amazing course and the challenges it brings….

I think that I have learned that I have many identities digital and f2f (Bonnie Stewart is doing some great work on the digital topic…but I digress)..that I have developed and discovered to get to my ultimate goal –

What am I really trying to achieve? I want to offer  social, media and technical literacy to the masses. The youth have vast experiences and skills and so do adults, and I want to bridge them together. This isn’t just about teachers not using technology in the clasroom. It’s about accepting that to really learn about social, media and technical literacy – we need to work together…While my course starts me along that path…I think my work with peeragogy.org will keep pushing me in that direction….

Better get back to the course….I still haven’t figured out a PLN scavenger hunt!!!

Next post – how I created/designed the #DigiFoot12 course…and why…


  1. Bon says:

    thanks for the shout-out, Verena. i really like your point about live social media…i am similar, and do far better in the stream of semi-synchronized interactivity than i do with recordings or archives. i think i relate to them totally differently, which hadn’t actually occurred to me before. hmm. much to consider.

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