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My digital identity

How do one present oneself for a course like this? What is relevant for people to know? My personal identity, my professional identity, or my digital identity? 

Even though my personal identity might be interesting for people, it doesn't feel like it should be my first priority. I'm not sure how much I would like to share yet, so I guess that part of me is off the table for now.

My professional identity is probably a bit more relevant, but it's closely tied to my digital identity and I can't really tell you about one without mentioning the other. So, for this post, I'll focus on the digital identity.

I would say that using Prensky's typology I'd be considered a digital immigrant. I wasn't born into the digital world like digital natives, because it didn't really exist the way it does now. But when I read about how the difference between digital natives and digital immigrants might manifest itself, like how immigrants turn to the internet for information second rather than first and read manuals instead of assuming that the software itself will teach me how to use it, I don't recognize myself at all. 

Having learned how to use computers and internet in its early days means I have a basic understanding for how it all works, which a lot of Prensky's digital natives, like my children or my partner who's 10 years younger than I am, seem to lack. They might be fluent in how to use it, but don't understand how things work. I'm both fluent and understand how things work. Therefore I agree with the critique posed by David S. White and Alison Le Cornu, and feel that their proposed alternative analogy of digital residents and digital visitors is much more relevant analogy. Using their typology I'd be a resident, as would my children, but my partner would be a visitor.

I think I was around 12 years old we got our first computer. The most exciting thing I could do on that machine was changing the background/text color from black/orange to orange/black, and playing simple games on floppy discs. I began using computers regularly for school work when I was about 16, at a time where there was no such thing as internet and all I could really do on my family's computer was writing essays and playing tetris. 

When I moved out and got my first own computer the 14.4 K modem and a FirstClass BBS was my gateway to internet. A couple of years later I was active in chat rooms, "surfed the web" and built my first personal web page. When I started teaching in 2000, I set up a web page for my students and their parents, so they could get access to courses and assignments from home. In that way I'd say I was an early adopter when it came to using digital tools in my teaching. I was the only teacher doing that at my school, and some of my colleagues were upset with me because the students and parents asked them to do the same, but they lacked the knowledge.

I then proceeded to using Blogger for different classes, OneNote, and most recently Google classroom and a variety of different tools for different purposes. As a teacher, I also helped my colleagues getting started with the digital tools we were expected to use, or acted as support when they needed help.

The resources I've created for professional purposes has also served as parts of my professional digital persona. They have been part of my curriculum vitae. Now, as a soon-to-be Learning Designer, I use LinkedIn and my webpage as ways to show my work and market myself to potential employers or customers. I try to engage in relevant discussions on LinkedIn-posts and even though I haven't gotten around to it yet my plan is to start producing relevant content to post on LinkedIn.

On facebook, there is no real difference between my personal and my professional use. My profile is only open to friends, but I sometimes post things relevant to my work. When I do, I make those posts public so potential employers can see them. My public feed on facebook shows the persona I want professionals to see.

When it comes to my own learning experience, I've used internet as my go-to resource for a long time. Lynda-courses, EdX-courses, youtube tutorials or just plain googling for resources is how I acquire knowledge, even though I still love books and tend to buy more literature than I get around to read. Support groups or user groups on facebook are great when I need help instantly, since people with knowledge often answer my questions within 30 minutes. 

One vital part of my personality is my need for constant learning and development. Taking this course is part of that, and I look forward to it!


  1. Sara, very interesting post, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Some parallels between me and you: I also use LinkedIn for professional networking, and Facebook mostly for friends. I never post pictures of my family, but I do post pictures of things I produce or places I go.
    I asked myself lately, if I should shutdown FB, not because I don't want to show myself publicly, but because I don't agree with the policy and the way they are dealing with data. I think they should belong to us personally and not to FB as a corporation.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I feel the same way about facebook from time to time.

  2. Nice reflection. Reading at your experiences, it surely looks like you are happy resident :)

    1. Thank you! I'm (mostly) a happy resident - but sometimes I feel I want to move out!


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