What I want from ED 654, Part 1

Prompt: Tell us about something you want to learn in this class. It can be a specific concept, a skill, a broad concept, a philosophy…whatever you choose, tell us a little about what you already know and share some links to illustrate what you are talking about.

Coming in to this course, the one big specific thing I wanted to learn was how to help others (adults) work through their fears and apprehensions about having an online presence and engaging with others online (or being a digital citizen or however you want to phrase it). In 2014, I did a presentation at the Alaska Library Association Conference on Developing and Managing Your Web Presence (see handout). Despite being careful with the session description and clearly stating at the start of the session that this wasn’t a session on privacy concerns, and that the assumption was that if you were attending, you either wanted a web presence or were open to it, there were several vocal people there that thought posting online was a terrible idea. It really prevented those who wanted to know more from getting what they came for. I feel like more people left with idea that they shouldn’t develop their web presence than the other way around. I know and work with people who share the viewpoint that sharing about oneself is too risky and/or bad. So what can we say to these people? What are they really afraid of? How founded are their fears?

I understand the benefit of having a web presence* and engaging with others online** but sharing these points, as I discovered in that session, is woefully inadequate.

* Why develop your web presence? Because people (employers, dates, and others) will Google you and there are probably things you want them to find. Because many employers want you to provide a portfolio of our work.Because people can find you serendipitously, including employers who might want to recruit you or people who want to partner with you on research.

Pondering Professional Online Presence

How My Personal Website Helped Me Land My Dream Job

** Why engage with others online? Maybe you’re lonely! Kidding. I mean, that’s cool too… but I am thinking more along the lines of developing a personal learning network (PLN) that helps you develop professionally and get things done. Because you will develop a network of people to ask when you have questions (including personal ones like, does anyone know of a great shoe repair place?) or need help. Because you can stay better connected to people you meet, especially those who are far away or who you rarely see (such as that great connection you made at that conference in California).

What the Heck is a PLN?

How Leaders Create and Use Networks


3 Replies to “What I want from ED 654, Part 1”

  1. Hi D’Arcy. i too had similar experience dealing with web presence workshop. i think when people think of the information super highway they mostly think about two things:
    a.permanence — whatever you leave there while traveling will never go away (speaking of which, i did just find my first open class site from 2001
    b. transparency — everyone can find it, see it (https://web.archive.org/web/20010303134928/http://www.pitan.com/art471.html)
    I feel in these respects the fears are absolutely founded (especially for the newer generations who were born with a smart phone in hand). you are living the life in the open, or so to say. I am not the same person I was in 2001. if facebook existed then, i would be mortified now. at the same time I am glad I have those traces, all those little life’s ePortfolio artifacts if only for the fact that I can see where i started and the journey to where i am now.
    I also feel that we should approach digital presence more from the “how” perspective that from the “why.” as you have suggested in your yawp post, most of the people already have some kind of online presence even if they are not aware of it. and even if they don’t then there is an issue of namesakes 🙂 do you really want to be mistaken for someone else with the same name. what kind of implications are there?

    • How neat to find your 2001 class page! You were quite the pioneer having your class information online (out in the open no less, not tucked into a LMS). I like to look back on where I was as well. In some ways it seems like it could be a good thing for people (the rare few who are so inclined to search that thoroughly, in your case) to see the way you approached things in 2001 versus now. For example, they might see evidence of your apparent commitment to professional development, keeping up with technology, and that sort of thing. It could be a bane for someone who is more of a stick in the mud, though. I recently found a 10 year old syllabus to a current class I was looking at. It looked virtually identical. What does it say when you have changed nothing in a class in a decade? Either it was perfect back then and NOTHING has changed (in pedagogy or the subject or your students) or….

  2. Hi D’arcy. I think this is a great area for discussion and would also benefit from a strategy to use with adults to help at least get them to consider the possibilities that being in charge of their own online presence is better then being completely (or so one thinks) off the data highway.

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