I felt like a newcomer when I started learning about how we use the internet and show ourselves online decades ago. At first, I loved social media, where I can share my thoughts, find old friends, and meet new people. However, I became more cautious with my online posts over time due to growing concerns about privacy and the potential misuse of information.
I find it intriguing that many people post their thoughts, feelings, and even personal stuff with strangers on social media without holding back. But when these same people are in online classes, they become quiet. Someone who shares a lot on social media might not even leave a comment on a classmate’s post. It’s like they see online classes as a totally different place with its own set of unspoken rules.
This observation leads me to ponder on my role as an adult educator who teaches online courses. How can I bridge this gap? How can I make the online learning environment as inviting, open, and engaging as social media platforms? It’s clear that fostering a safe, inclusive space where learners feel confident to share and interact is essential. Online learning is not just about imparting knowledge but ensuring active participation, collaboration, and co-learning.
But there’s a deeper reflection layer to this – my digital literacies directly shape my actions, decisions, and behaviors online. In turn, these elements contribute to the formation and perception of my digital identity.
Lankshear and Knobel (2006) emphasized the importance of understanding these digital literacies in the context of today’s rapidly changing digital landscape and their implications for educational policies, pedagogies, and research. How I present and express myself in the digital space influences my interactions and teaching in online courses.
Managing my digital identity and balancing my personal and professional online presence gives me insight into similar challenges my students might face. This understanding not only allows me to empathize with them but also to model best practices, equipping me to guide my students to learn and share more effectively in the digital landscape.
In conclusion, this topic 1 has been enlightening, leading me to introspect on my online behaviors and my responsibility as an educator in the digital age. Embracing digital literacy is no longer an option but a necessity, and understanding our digital footprints is the first step in that journey.
Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (2006). Digital literacy and digital literacies: Policy, pedagogy and research considerations for education. Nordic Journal of digital literacy, 1(1), 12-24.