In this reflective post, I delve into the evolving landscape of digital literacies in academia, particularly focusing on the development of professional personas and the challenges and opportunities they present in online participation. Drawing from course literature and relevant sources, I explore how educators and learners can navigate this digital continuum to establish and maintain their professional identities effectively.

Pre-pandemic, the emphasis was primarily on traditional modes of communication, such as email and face-to-face interactions. However, the limited use of collaborative digital tools and concerns about the effectiveness of online collaboration hindered the integration of digital technologies into academic practice. The onset of the pandemic, however, prompted a seismic shift towards the dominance of remote collaboration, emphasizing the reliance on video conferencing and collaborative platforms. This transition necessitated an adaptation to digital tools and an increased emphasis on strategic online persona building for wider audience reach.

Reflecting on the provided scenario, where a participant embarks on an online course with little experience and feels intimidated by the prospect of sharing reflections openly, I recognize the apprehension many individuals may feel when navigating the digital realm. The dichotomy between maintaining a professional public persona while safeguarding personal privacy underscores the complexities inherent in online participation.

Addressing the focus areas outlined in the scenario, I contemplate strategies for developing professional public personas for both educators and learners. For educators, translating research into media-friendly articles, reclaiming the “Artisanal Web” through academic blogs, and leveraging platforms like Substack can enhance visibility and engagement within their respective fields. Similarly, for learners, cultivating a professional public persona entails self-analysis, strategic use of social media, and consideration of industry-specific platforms to effectively showcase skills and interests.

In my own experience as an educator, I’ve encountered similar challenges when navigating the digital realm. Balancing the need to maintain a professional presence while also expressing personal insights and experiences requires careful consideration and a nuanced approach to online participation.

Exploring the tools available for developing an open professional persona, I acknowledge the importance of strategic and meaningful engagement over ubiquity. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, personal websites or blogs, online portfolios, and industry-specific platforms offer avenues for showcasing expertise and fostering collaboration within the community. However, the choice of tools may be influenced by institutional policies and preferences, highlighting the need for flexibility and adaptability.


  • Marshall, P. David, et al. “Persona as method: exploring celebrity and the public self through persona studies.” Celebrity Studies 6.3 (2015): 288-305.
  • Manca, Stefania, et al. “Think globally, act locally: A glocal approach to the development of social media literacy.” Computers & Education 160 (2021): 104025.
  • Hertz, B., et al. “A pedagogical model for effective online teacher professional development—findings from the Teacher Academy initiative of the European Commission.” European Journal of Education 57 (2022): 142-159.
The Evolving Scholar: A Digital Presence in Academia