Higher Education, Networked Community, networkedscholar, Reflections, Research

Thinking About My Networked Self & Digital Experiences In Higher Ed

This past summer, I spent a great deal of time talking to colleagues in higher ed to learn how they utilize social media to connect with peers and support one another in online communities. These interviews and conversations have been enlightening to help us understand more about how our digital, networked selves come to work on a university/college campus and contribute to our professional fields. For some, it is becoming increasingly vital to share instruction, scholarship, and practice online.  For others, there are still concerns about being connected to colleagues as our social networks now have context collapse. In the online world, what IS really private vs. public? Which networks are used for personal and/or professional practice?

Open and digital channels help higher ed faculty and stuff in a number of different ways: asking/giving advice, collaboration on projects, free professional development, sharing information/resources, colleagues solicit advice, personal/professional support, and opportunities to learn in digital communities with common interests. Besides developing a digital presence or a “persona” online, higher education staff, administrators and scholars are utilizing social media and digital technologies to support their work, add to their professional development, engage with peers, learn in the collective and publicly in digital spaces and places.

This leads me to ask these questions of my peers working in higher ed:

  • How does being part of a digital learning network support your professional learning and development?
  • How are you shaping your online identity and presence to share your professional values?
  • How can your networked communities expand your knowledge and learning to enhance your role on campus and the work you do?
  • Why might others consider finding networked peers and practitioners to scaffold their own career goals?

Although there are benefits to “working out loud” and online, there are also a number of issues as we repurpose social, digital spaces. The stakes are high, as an increasing number of higher ed professionals participate in online social networks with minimal institutional guidance for sociotechnical support or training (Pasquini & Evangelopoulos, 2017). Social and digital networks are connected, public and scaled — and often not on spaces we own or have control over. Additionally, much of our own data is being collected and reused on these networked platforms. This has me wondering:

  • How are higher ed staff and faculty evaluating their online participation on these social networks?
  • How has their contribution to open, public spaces shifted over the years?
  • What does being online as a higher ed professional look like now?

These are just a few of the questions we are asking in our research study. If you are interested in sharing more about your own experiences as a professional in higher ed, please consider contributing by participating in an interview (more about the study here).

Research Interview Sign Up: http://bit.ly/networkedself

Part of this blog post is cross-posted via my Inside Higher Ed Digital Learning opinion piece.

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#AcDigID, #EdDigID, Learning and Performance, Networked Community, networkedscholar, OLC, Training & Development

Join the #EdDigID Twitter Chat on Friday (9/29) @ 2 pm CT!

Being an open professional or academic might mean showcasing your own work, research, teaching, and practice online. Social networks and digital tools are increasingly offering higher ed professionals an online place for collaboration, learning, and sharing. In the information age, being able to display research and practical work in higher education is the norm and it is critical we are contributing to public knowledge.

There are a great number of benefits for being open and online; however, professional digital identity development does not come without questions or challenges. My last post not only introduced a few issues, challenges, and affordances (+ the #EdDigID workshop); however, we are going to share MORE in a LIVE Twitter Chat this Friday, September 29, 2017 from 2-3 pm CDT (time zone converter, I’m in Dallas, TX, USA). What does it mean to be a connected practitioner? How has being a networked scholar impacted your work? Come chat, in 140 characters or less (or more) with us! All #highered colleagues & peers are welcome for some FREE Twitter PD!

HOW TO: Participate in the #EdDigID Chat on Friday (9/29)

Here’s a quick overview of how to participate in #EdDigID Twitter Chat:

  1. Set up your Twitter Account (HOW TO: Set Up The Twitters).
  2. Follow the #EdDigID hashtag on Twitter for the latest tweets.
  3. Follow @LauraPasquini who will moderate the Q & A for the Twitter Chat, a.k.a. “MOD”
  4. Get ready and excited for Friday’s (9/29) chat by checking out what’s being shared and discussed on the#EdDigID hashtag NOW! BONUS: You might learn what’s happening & being in my workshop. 🙂
  5. JOIN US Friday, September 29th from 12-1 pm PT/1-2 pm MT/2-3 pm CT/3-4 pm ET for the following TOPIC: Being Online as a #HigherEd Professional in 2017

Contribute to the #EdDigID Twitter Chat by:

  • Logging into your Twitter account as the #EdDigID chat will happen ON TWITTER.
  • Follow along in real time during the #EdDigID Twitter chat by following along on the  Twitter hashtag: #EdDigID  or this Tweet Chat Room: http://tweetchat.com/room/EdDigID
  • The MOD (moderator) @LauraPasquini will ask 3-4 questions during the 60-minute chat; please respond with the Q# in your update, e.g. “Q1: Your Answer” or “A1: Your response”
  • Invite your higher education faculty/staff peers to join the conversation – all are welcome to join!
  • Include the #EdDigID hashtag in your tweets and responses (“@”) to others.

To help you prepare, here are a few of the #EdDigID chat questions to ponder IN ADVANCE of our conversation:

  1. What questions should we discuss, with regards to #highered professional presence/identity online + social media?
  2. What are you preferred spaces & places to learn online? This could be social media, digital platforms, etc. Please list!
  3. What are your spaces and places to “be” online as a #highered professional (besides Twitter)? Please share!
  4. What advice do you have for #highered peers who are just starting to develop their digital ID?
  5. What are some of the benefits for developing a digital identity?
  6. What are the possible challenges/issues for being online, on social media or having a professional a digital presence?

UPDATED POST 9/29/17: Here is our #EdDigID conversation archived in @Storify:

#EdDigID Twitter Chat: Being Online as a #HigherEd Pro in 2017 [Transcript]

#AcDigID, #EdDigID, networkedscholar, Training & Development

Being “Professional” Online… Whatever That Means. #EdDigID #AcDigID

I just started reading the new book, The Digital Academic (Lupton, Mewburn, & Thomson, 2018), and I was reminded of the debate in The Guardian on being or not being a “serious academic.”  These two articles argue the merit of how scholars participate (or should not) on social media and digital networks. The two sides see involvement on social networks as either public discourse and knowledge sharing or as a complete waste of time only used for personal reputation management. Not surprising, this how networked practice is mirrored among the administrative staff I have been interviewing. Often postsecondary educators express the need to “be professional online.” Depending on the campus culture, professionals are either encouraged or discouraged from actively engaging online on social media. Most staff expressed uncertainty of any policies, expectations, politics, and implications of their own social media use. And commonly, social media and digital technologies are not often guided by academic institutions or via the professional organizations/associations. What is exciting about this edited collection (that I’ve read so far), is it unpacks these binary perceptions and dichotomous narratives. There is so much more to discuss than just good vs. bad for these social, online contexts. Just like our social identities, our online selves are so much more complex and things get complicated when we interact on certain platforms, connect with particular communities, and experience “being” within social networks. Just like our social identities, our online selves are so much more complex and vary in certain contexts. Things tend to get complicated when we interact on certain platforms, connect with specific communities, and experience “being” within particular professional online networks. Online identity is more fluid and less compartmentalized than ever before. Sure we share our practices and offer praise; however, there seem to be escalating issues and challenges we need to talk about in these online environments.

Sure, I can reflect back to the early days of participating in open, digital channels to ask for advice, share resources, support one another, and really have a bit of a chat (and banter) with loads of colleagues in #highered. I have definitely benefited from the offering of professional development via Twitter, open sharing of learning on blogs, and wealth of knowledge being shared by videos, open documents, and curated resources via my personal learning network. Although I still experience benefits to “working out loud” and participating in these online social networks, I believe “being online” in higher ed looks today looks different from when I first started, plus I recognize my own points of social privilege I have in these spaces. Our networks have grown up and with this scaled new look comes concerns about privacy, data collection, and reputation management. Additionally, there are a number of unwritten rules and informal sanctions facing higher ed faculty and staff in these social, digital places. “Academic work and academic selfhood in the increasingly digitised realm of higher education are fraught with complexities and ambivalences” (Lupton et al., 2018, pp. 15-16). So much is left unanswered:

  • What happens when our personal and professional online networks intersect and come to campus?
  • What behaviours and use of social media are acceptable for your role, discipline, and institution?
  • How do we work online and offline, when the boundaries are poorly defined and perhaps even seamless?
  • What implications are there for being online and connected in 2017?
  • How does being active on social media or in networked spaces impact career development and advancement?
  • What are we not learning about networked practice in higher ed we should know more about?

These are the questions I am asking (in my research and for my practice), and they are why I developed an OLC online workshop:#EdDigID: Developing Your Social & Digital Presence in Higher Ed (#AcDigID)

Next week (September 25-October 1, 2017) is the last offering of this workshop for 2017. [Update: I’m teaching the #AcDigID version January 8-14, 2018 for academic faculty and researchers.] This 7-day short course is like an expanded, self-pace webinar to understand and identify what it means to be networked as a higher education professional. This course was created 1st targeted only at networked scholars (#AcDigID), and it has evolved to discuss the affordances and challenges faced by both academic and administrative staff in higher ed who are digitally engaged. Although this workshop was pitched to me as a “how to” develop your online presence on social media, I think it would be a disservice to postsecondary practitioners if we did not discuss the blurred lines of our occupational selves, including private vs. public, online vs. offline, and context collapse between our personal and professional networks.

Here are the learning goals for the workshop:

  1. Evaluate social media and digital platforms for professional development and connected learning in the field;
  2. Establish effective strategies for developing/creating/improving your  digital identity for open, networked practice; and
  3. Outline the benefits and challenges of open and digital practice, especially when considering what it means for higher education staff and faculty are active on social media and in networked spaces.

For those who join this course, we will dig deeper into to help YOU consider HOW and WHERE you want to present (or not present) online.  SIGN UP HERE! If you are not able to formally join the #EdDigID workshop next week, no need to fear! I have created a few ways YOU can get involved, perhaps contribute, and potentially drop into this learning party/conversation:

  • TWITTER:
    • TWEET: Share resources around digital identity, networked experiences, and how you learn online and on social media using the workshop hashtag: #EdDigID
    • SHARE HASHTAGS: What hashtags do you track on or who do you follow on Twitter? What hashtags are YOU interested for colleagues in higher ed? #EdDigID
    • TW-LISTED: I have been curating Twitter lists for quite some time that includes peers in higher ed, academia, academic advising, librarians, and MORE! Do I need to add you to one of my Twitter lists? Please advise (on Twitter or in the comments below).
    • JOIN the#EdDigID TWITTER CHAT: Join us for the live, synchronous Twitter chat on Friday, September 29th from 2-3 pm CDT on the Twitters. We’ll be hanging out in this TweetChat Room and I will moderate this chat here: http://tweetchat.com/room/EdDigID
  • LINKEDIN: 
    • CALL FOR CONTRIBUTION: Are you using closed/private groups and networks on social media platforms? Are you forming communities to share in digitally closed spaces, e.g. Private/Secret Facebook Groups, Slack, Mastodon, etc.? Let me know! I will be hosting a synchronous meeting online next Wednesday (9/27) from 1-2 pm CST and I would LOVE if you could JOIN THE CONVERSATION if you’re interested/available.

Reference:

Lupton, D., Mewburn, I., & Thomson, P. (2018). The digital academic: Critical perspectives on digital technology in higher education. New York, NY: Routledge

 

networkedscholar, Open Education, Research, Social Media

#CFP Due April 15th: Digital Learning and Social Media Research Funding 2017

Are you an early career scholar or an advanced doctoral student researching networked scholarship, social media in education, open learning, emerging technologies, etc.? Then this might just be the grant funding for you!

Dr. George Veletsianos (Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University) and Dr. Royce Kimmons (Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University) invites applications from advanced doctoral students (i.e. those who completed their graduate coursework) and post-doctoral associates to conduct research with The Digital Learning and Social Media Research Group. This research funding opportunity aims to scaffold and mentor advanced doctoral researchers and early career scholars to co-plan, execute, and submit for publication a research study.

There are five (5) $2000 CAD grants available for research that focuses on one or more of the following areas: networked scholarship, social media use in education, digital/online learning, open learning, emerging technologies, learning analytics, social network analysis, or educational data mining.

Requirements

  • Advanced doctoral student status (usually in the 3rd or 4th year of their studies) OR postdoctoral status having completed a graduate degree (Ph.D./EdD) within the last 3 years.
  • Enrolment in or having attained a graduate degree (Ph.D./EdD) in education, educational technology, learning technologies, learning sciences, curriculum and instruction, cognitive science, or other related fields.
  • Individuals must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada or must hold a valid employment visa or work permit issued by the Government of Canada.
  • To be well-suited for this opportunity, individuals must have excellent organizational abilities, analytic skills, and be familiar with methodologies involving the analysis of quantitative or qualitative data.
  • MORE information about this grant application process can be found on George’s blog.

Questions?

Please feel free to reach out to me, or for further inquiries regarding this opportunity please send an email to: CRCILT.Research@RoyalRoads.ca

#AcDigID, #AcWri, #phdchat, Academia, Higher Education, networkedscholar

#AcDigID: Academic Digital Identity Matters

Over the last few weeks, you might have noticed the #AcDigID hanging off a few of my social posts. In between #OLCInnovate conference wrap-up work and the end-of-semester fun, I was designing a new workshop I’ll be facilitating via the Online Learning Consortium. This 7-day, asynchronous, online workshop is designed to support digital identity development for faculty and staff in higher education.

#AcDigID_hashtag

Developing Your Social Media and Digital Presence

Workshop Description: What does your online identity look like today? Have you Googled yourself lately? In academia, it is becoming increasingly vital to publish and share your teaching, service, and research knowledge. Besides developing an online presence and utilizing social media for professional development, faculty and staff are actively utilizing open and digital channels to support, learn, and contribute a thriving network of connected scholars. In this workshop, you will explore meaningful ways to craft an active, online persona, learn about strategies to effectively include social media and digital resources for your professional development, and understand how an online community of practice can enhance the work you do.

Learning Objectives:

  • Evaluate social media and digital platforms for faculty professional development, connected learning, and research impact.
  • Establish effective strategies for developing an online digital identity for open, networked scholarship.
  • Outline the benefits and challenges of open and digital scholarship while using social

Dates Offered: May 16-22, 2016 and September 26-October 2, 2016; Registration Page (if interested in signing up)

Initially, I was asked to create a workshop around social media; however I thought this could be more. There’s actually a lot more than just social media needed when becoming a networked scholar and in crafting your digital persona. Academic social networks are on the rise and there are a number of reasons why scholars use social media and digital resources (Van Noorden, 2014). This is an important topic we to talk about with our peers in higher ed, as we are all public intellectuals now – at least in some shape or form.

If you have ever attended a webinar and/or concurrent session with me on the topic, there’s way too much to share in just 45-60 minutes – so I was thrilled to think about these issues in an extended format and to figure out how to best support academics interested in building their digital presence. It’s been fun planning this workshop, as it has made me return back to my blog archive, review the articles I have curated, visit texts I’ve read, and also pick up a couple of new ones to learn more (future blog posts to review these books soon!).

Here’s the outline for the #AcDigID workshop this coming week:

  • Why Does Social & Digital Identity Matter in Academia?
    • Getting started, digital identity development, and state of scholars online
  • The Tools of the Digital Academic Trade: Social Media
    • Twitter, hashtags, blogging, podcasting, LinkedIn, and more!
  • Being a Connected and Digital Scholar
    • Digital research impact and influence, ORCID iD, academic social networks designed for scholars, and measuring impact.
  • Openness in Academia: Benefits & Challenges
    • Being open in higher education, the tension between challenges and affordances of online, and experiences from networked scholars.
  • Building Your Social and Digital Presence Online
    • Creating your own space and place for scholarship (at least 3 platforms)
  • Developing Your Digital Academic Identity
    • Bonus: ways to aggregate and showcase your digital/social profiles

I am looking forward to sharing ideas and strategies for digital scholarship and identity online this week in the #AcDigID workshop. I don’t claim to know all, and I continue to learn – however I will say I am grateful for those networked scholars who have supported my digital developing along the way. That being said, I know some of you might have suggestions, experiences, stories, and more when it comes to academic digital identity development. I welcome this. If you are or have been a higher education faculty/staff who is/was on social media, academic networking sites, or just online – please consider giving some advice to my #AcDigID workshop participants.

#AcDigID ADVICE and RESOURCES WANTED for how you share your teaching, service, and research scholarship online:

  • ADD TO THE LIST: to my “Academics Who Tweet” Twitter list? I would like to get a variety of scholars from all disciplines and areas in higher education. Let me know if YOU or someone else should be added.
  • SUGGEST A HASHTAG: Do you follow a particular academic hashtag that my #AcDigID community should know about?

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  • TELL YOUR #AcDigID STORY: Interested in coming to talk about your #AcDigID development? How did you become a networked scholar? Want to share your issues, challenges or affordances for your academic online self? Let me know – happy to have you during a synchronous, online meeting.
  • JOIN THE #AcDigID TWITTER CHAT: Join us for the live Twitter chat this coming Friday, May 20 from 1-2 pm EST – We will, of course, use the #AcDigID to ask questions and discuss the issues, challenges, and affordances of being a scholar online.

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  • USE the #AcDigID HASHTAG this week to introduce yourself, say hello, share resources, or offer advice.

Reference:

Van Noorden, R. (2014). Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network. Nature, 512(7513), 126-129.

networkedscholar, Research

Being A Networked Scholar

Using social media and being a networked scholar allows provides you with an online, research presence and connects you to academics inside and outside your field. The power of open, social networks, allows academic to connect to research and researchers across disciplines. Consider all the ways you can collaborate and share in social media. A growing number of scholars have adopted and joined these online scholarly communities to meet other like-minded scholars, solicit for research support, share project progress, and disseminate findings beyond a conference publication or journal article. A core value of open, online networked scholarship is it is “a place where scholars can congregate to share their work, ideas and experiences” (Veletsianos, 2013, p. 648).  There are a number of researcher identification and citation tools connected to social media sites and scholarly metrics. Teaching and research information are being distributed and shared across platforms and communities.

elearn14-digital-scholarship-21-638

“It is a critical time to rethink how research is produced, distributed, and acknowledged.”

(Pasquini, Wakefield, Reed & Allen, 2014, p. 1567).

As I investigate workplace learning and performance, it has been helpful to blog and bounce ideas off on others on Twitter. I have used Mendeley to work on literature reviews, Google+ hangouts for research team meetings, Google documents for collaborative writing/research, searched Academia.edu or ResearchGate to access publications, and posted academic results to SlideShare. These are just a few ways I like to “show my work” and work in the open as a scholar. Being social and online allows me to reflect on my academic teaching and research scholarship experiences, and it has connected me to a great number of academics who I learn and research among.

If you or another academic colleague are thinking about how social media and networks can impact your teaching, research, and service scholarship, then here are a few insights George & I shared via Royal Roads University post on networked scholarship.

Network with colleagues

Higher education faculty and academics are adopting social media in growing numbers. A 2011 survey, for example, found that 45 % of higher education respondents use Facebook for professional, non-classroom purposes. Joining social media networks allows scholars to connect with colleagues, offer resources and discuss issues of professional interest.

Solicit feedback and reflect on your research and teaching

Academics increasingly share their work online, often engaging in activities that impact practice. Academic-focused social networking sites, such as Academia.edu and Mendeley, and general interest sites such as Twitter and SlideShare provide scholars with places to distribute, discuss and expand on their research and teaching.

Reach multiple audiences

In sharing in open social networks, scholars enter into an interdisciplinary territory and often break down barriers between academic disciplines. Not only are the traditional walls of the academy thinner online, but academic work could reach broader audiences, such as practitioners and journalists.

Cultivate your identity as a scholar

Social media and online networks allow scholars to manage their online identity, track their citations, identify their spheres of influence and connect with colleagues. These tools support different ways in which knowledge can be produced, shared, negotiated and acknowledged. Learn more about a few of these tools here and here.

Become more open

Using social media and online social networks means being a tad more open, and that’s good for all of us. Openness is the practice of sharing resources and materials (e.g., syllabi, lectures, research papers) in a way that allows others to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute them. Social media and online social networks often support an ethos of openness, enabling academics to share their work more frequently. A more open approach to scholarship allows knowledge and education to flow more freely and to be used more widely.

What advice do you give early career researchers and academics who are just getting started with social media?

I am not naive to say that being a networked, social scholars does not have any issues. What challenges do you see in being part of the “open” and involved in networked scholarship? Let me know. A follow-up blog post on this particular question and issue to come…

References:

Pasquini, L., Wakefield, J., Reed, A. & Allen, J. (2014). Digital Scholarship and Impact Factors: Methods and Tools to Connect Your Research. In Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2014 (pp. 1564-1569). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.editlib.org/p/148918.

Veletsianos, G. (2013). Open Practices and Identity: Evidence from Researchers and Educators’ Social Media Participation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(3), 639-651.

A version of this blog post is cross-posted on the Royal Roads University website.

networkedscholar, Reflections

Vulnerability Comes With Scholars Who Care #scholar14

I feel fortunate to be in a “caring” online  spaces, when it comes to my research and writing development.

turtle-dont-be-afraid-to-be-vulnerable

Over the course of the last few years I have met a number of doctoral researchers, early career scholars, and seasoned academics who actively participate and encourage open dialogues online (within Twitter hashtags, blogging communities, podcasts, and more). I know this is not always the case. In the world of academic contribution and competition, there are a number of hurdles along the tenure track and moving forward in post-secondary education leadership positions. By sharing what you do, in the network, you expose your own process, development and self. This includes the good, the bad, and the ugly of the experience:

“Sharing a story about yourself makes you vulnerable. Since stories are about transformation, telling a personal story requires you reveal a flaw, error, or a roadblock that was a difficult to overcome. Professionals are nervous to reveal their struggles at their place of work for fear it will open them up to judgment or criticism” (Duarte, 2014).

Last week, the Networked Scholar course (#scholar14) was fortunate to have Bonnie Stewart (a.k.a. @bonstewart) share her thoughts on the delicate nature of being exposed and real in academic spheres.  If you want to get caught up, watch the video recording, her SlideShare presentation, or review the Twitter notes. It was a pleasure to hear this talk, knowing Bonnie professionally and personally (she may have gone to high school with my cousin – PEI is small), but also because Bonnie brings her scholarship to the network and actively engages in this dialogue beyond the academic sphere:

Although I am not alone, it is through these real and authentic examples in higher education (both faculty and staff), that I am inspired to continue to tell my tale, share, and grow in this networked experience. Not everything will be great, but discussing the process, challenges, joys, and then some has help my own journey. That being said, it is important to be cognizant of the issues within the “networked” space of academia:

This talk left me thinking more about my purpose and intentionality with the “tools” and mediums I use. I share real photos, videos, blogs, tweets, and more about  my authentic self, which include my successes and struggles. This has left me thinking about questions I have in my “networked academic future”:

  • What does this mean for my representation of academic self?
  • How do I challenge assumptions of working in these online spaces?
  • What about potential issues that might happening being as open and honest with research?
  • How can I continue to share my story in an honest way that will contribute to my peers, institutional culture, and discipline?
  • How will I support graduate students and early career researchers who will continue to participate in these online spaces, moving forward?

I think about the challenges academics face (e.g. trolls, research thieves, tenure track requirements, discipline silos, and institutional cultures); however I am inspired to still be in these spaces with researchers, like Bonnie, who have modeled, interacted, supported, and engaged in real interactions related to their research threads. I want to support my peers and the next generation of networked scholars – so the best way I know how to do is to be there.

References:

Duarte, N. (2014, October 29). Are you brace enough to be vulnerable? Retrieved from https://medium.com/@nancyduarte/are-you-brave-enough-to-be-vulnerable-5a09bd99c4c4

Stewart, B. (2014, November 3). Networks of care & vulnerability. SlideShare. [Lecture slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/bonstewart/networks-of-care-vulnerability