Some Reflections on Digital Identity

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On Youth Advisory blog: “Social Networking: The Digital Identity

With our continuing discussions about Digital Identities,@ChezVivian has written a wonderful blog post (Perfecting My Footprint in Life) exhorting us toward being authentic people online – full of character and integrity – as an extension of who we are in our daily lives. Do we spend our days trying to impress people? If so, then we will probably get caught up in “Digitally Branding” ourselves, putting ourselves out there as a commodity – selling ourselves. Instead, if our core values include servanthood – mentoring, teaching, coming alongside others, etc., it will reveal itself in selfless acts that demonstrate our character. If our online self is congruent with our offline self, then people will see that and that presence will connect us to people in a natural way. In working with students, certainly we want to point out that what they do and say online is a reflection of who they are. Being good citizens online should be congruent with who they are as citizens in all the other areas of their lives. Perhaps we should take her advice:

“It seems it would be ideal if we could show our students the power they have to exact and affect remarkable help, care, and education through the Internet; such that they would find the risky & riské activities boring and unappealing in comparison.”

Perhaps that is a good reason our collaborative activities focus on supporting others as members of a community. If only that became fashionable. Perhaps I’ll write more about this….

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About Sisqitman

I am an Instructional Technology Specialist for Van ISD in Van, TX. My vision is to help equip, encourage, and support teachers, students, and admin. in their use of technology in teaching and learning.
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4 Responses to Some Reflections on Digital Identity

  1. Mike Matheson says:

    The line between citizenship and digital citizenship is becoming non existent. Because of this it is imperative that we take her advice and teach students through example the power they have to exact and affect remarkable help, care, and education within their community and world.

  2. Sisqitman says:

    Mike, thanks for your comment. I agree with you that those distinctions are blurred more and more each day. Our online presence is such a part of the fabric of our lives and times that we need to have a greater awareness of how our life online affects others for good or for bad. Instead of evaluating simply on if something we do online is “good” or not, we need to be asking ourselves if our behavior – words, pictures, video, etc. serves the best interests of others. Just because we have 1st Amendment rights doesn’t mean that what we do online serves others well or represents the way we want people to see us in the short and long-term. That awareness is something our students need to develop and should be a regular conversation as we use technology for writing, speaking, innovating, etc. individually and collaboratively. I think as we rethink our instructional course design and pedagogy in light of the Common Core Standards, we have the chance to really open that dialogue with teachers.

  3. Debbie Goltz says:

    Mike’s exactly right. The character & behavior we demonstrate online as digital citizens should be consistent with what our students/colleagues/friends see in our daily “IRL” walk. Not only is hypocrisy a big red flag for teenagers, but we are missing the opportunity to demonstrate not just the importance of but the reward found in being “other-minded.” We need to be taking every chance we’re given to be role models in our work ethic, behavior, speech, and respect for others. Good thoughts, Glenn!

  4. Vivian says:

    Hello Glenn
    WOW. I’m speechless (for a change) at this incredible compliment that you’ve given me by writing your own blog in response to my bit of a “diatribe” on the net. 🙂

    I’ve only come out of hiding on the internet for three months at this point. It’s all very new and a bit freaky for me. When I saw your Twitter message come through that you’d responded to my blog, I freaked. I thought, “Oh no, someone’s written a blog to slag at me or to flame at me!”. My heart stopped as I clicked on the link. I was very relieved to read that you and I are “like-minded” and that the post was so positive. Thank YOU so much for the compliments.

    There are incredibly wonderful things kids are doing through the internet. I hope to curate links of these things on a webpage one day. My hope is that these stories will become more and more such that people won’t automatically think of sinister things when they think of the internet. Instead, they’ll be asking themselves what can THEY do that is also powerful, positive, and life-changing for others through the internet. Until that day comes, we have to be striving for these things in our own online lives. This is will be the way that we show the kids what this really means.

    Also, when that day comes, there will be no more occasions of myself having heart-stopping moments of fear, as I had today 😉

    Warm regards,

    Vivian

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