Identity in a Digital Age

In this thought provoking post @kbhildebrandt and @courosa (University of Regina) discuss ‘digital’ identity and what it means. It also looks at issues of power and privilege if we expect a ‘squeaky clean’ online image. The authors suggest we learn to express greater empathy and forgiveness. This passage is a powerful idea;

And this view of digital identity also has implications for who is able to say what online. If mistakes are potentially so costly, we must consider who has the power and privilege to take the risk of speaking out against the status quo, and how this might contribute to the further marginalization and silencing of non-dominant groups.

Filtering & Blocking

I have written about this topic before – even writing a published paper about the topic in the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. This post on The Blue Skunk Blog raises a good point worth considering;

By blocking social networking tools in our schools, to whom are we really denying access? All kids or only those who cannot afford home Internet access? Are we marginalizing the already marginalized in our society by preventing them from the only opportunity (in school) they may have to participate in a participatory culture by filtering?

Social Media & Grad Students

Why should grad students use Social Media?

Here are 5 reasons why graduate students need social media:

  1. Connect with others
  2. Make research accessible
  3. Mobilize your research
  4. Make yourself the expert
  5. Alternative- or post-academic careers

These five reasons are expanded upon in the article this is excerpted from: From Ph.D. to Life in University Affairs. The author shares some good reasons and good ideas. I like the idea of doing a one minute summation of research/thesis on video – put on YouTube. I might do that and post on my main blog. Chack out the entire post at the link above.


Privacy: to lock or not to lock. If one opts out of privacy, how does one decide to share the combination or key with a select population or leave the gate wide open? Purpose really should drive this decision, but often the purpose of various social medias is initially vague, requiring some effort and research to understand it. Along with this, one needs to consider their own purpose in the context of a given social media community.

Just like technology, the popular choice of social media tools is changing all the time. It’s hard work to keep up, but we have a responsibility; whether we are simply tolerating SM use or we are encouraging it, we must remain informed and engaged. It’s our job as the adults.


This post examines privacy & public in terms of social media use & teaching our kids about it. Worth a read.

Don’t Use a 2.0 Technology in a 1.0 Way

As we have progressed, not only in our use of technology but also our understanding of effective leadership, we know that communication includes effective talking but, more importantly, listening. Being able to hear what is being said from those we serve is extremely important to how we develop our schools, and the conversation is extremely valuable. Yet, many schools and organizations use social media in the old fashion: sharing information but not having a conversation. In reality, just because you have ears doesn’t mean you are listening.

Ultimately, this is not about having a Twitter or Facebook account but about how we use it and about rethinking the work we do and how we connect to those we serve in our schools. … We need to not only get into the same room but also talk when we are all there.

Wise words and advice from George Couros, be sure to read the entire post (link above). Using Web 2.0 as a consumer is fine and is useful, but consider the possibilities if it is used for producing, sharing and conversing. How are/will you use the tools of social media?

Social Media & Schools

Unfortunately, more and more policymakers are putting restrictions on teachers and students when it comes to using social media and in the end this hurts not only educators, but also our children.

Excerpt from: The Innovative Educator: Yes. Teachers & Students Should be Interacting – My New York Post Mention (link above).

I agree completely with her on this, and have written articles & posts about it too. What do you think?