Visual Essay

This is my visual essay for the module ‘Living, Learning and Working in the Context of Digital Economy’. Below is a short video outlining the main points of my topic, accompanied by this blogpost. The references for the information images and music presented in both the video and this blogpost can be found at the bottom of the page.

Digital Identities

Having an online identity is something that has become second nature to most people across the world. Each day thousands of people are joining digital communities, making social media one of most prominent features in today’s modern society. Even looking at my own social interactions online I can see this: I have around 8 different social networking sites that I use, emphasising to me just how much social media is a part of our lives.

‘Digital identity’ is the term used to described ‘the persona a person projects’ across these communities (Williams et.al., 2010). People’s identities are shown through the expression of their interests and opinions; as well as their interactions with friends via social networking. Sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, provide a platform for people to showcase themselves in whichever way they want. This visual essay will look at how we create multiple identities online and how it can affect us on the outside the virtual world.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Social media has not only changed the way that we interact with people around the world but it has helped to shape the way we present ourselves to the world as well. Now-a-days it is very easy to give away personal information about ourselves online and unintentionally create a negative persona and reputation. People don’t realise that the things they do online can manipulate how another person will perceive them, judging by your online activity. From being ‘tagged’ in a Facebook picture at a party, to having a disagreement with someone online; these types of events create a picture of what you are like as a person and ultimately form your online identity.

I believe that there are 2 forms of identity that people use when active online. These are the professional persona and the personal persona. Depending on which audience we are targeting when using social networking sites, depicts what form of identity we have. For example, when we use Facebook, we would showcase ourselves in a way that is socially acceptable for our peers. Whereas, if we are using social networking as a way of connecting with potential employers, we would show the more professional side of us. We create multiple identities for ourselves to appeal to the masses.

As our information is readily available online for anyone to see, many people don’t know how to separate the personal from the professional and therefore this can have an effect on our lives outside the virtual world. Employers, for example, won’t hesitate to check up on employees through their online profiles, to get an idea of the type of person they are employing. A survey by Career Builder (The Telegraph, 2010), found that 4 in 10 employers will discard a job seekers application after checking their Facebook page and are now using social networking sites to highlight any “digital dirt”. This can be one of the disadvantages of having an online identity, as this can affect what an employer thinks about you as a person. I have seen first-hand how one Facebook post can result in job loss or a negative persona, created by online activity, can affect you actually getting a job.

However, having an online identity can have its advantages. Today’s social networking sites have made it very easy to pick and choose what information you want displayed on your online profile and who you want to see it. In order to do this however, you need to know how. Madden and Smith (2010) stated that it is the young adults in today’s society that are more wary of what is posted about them online; with 71% of them customising their privacy settings, compared to the 33% of users aged 30-49 and the 25% of 50-64 year olds. This could be down to the fact that older generations don’t know how to do it or don’t see the importance of it. To me, privacy is one of the most important aspects to social networking and taking the necessary precautions to create a positive identity can have a profound effect, especially when seeking work. One social networking site called ‘LinkedIn’ allows you to create a professional profile and a ‘brand’ for potential employers. You can promote yourself in the most appealing way for your desired audience and keep your personal life separate (and private!) from your professional one.

Figure 2

Figure 2

Online identities can be great things for showcasing who we are as people in different ways. But without the ability to monitor what we post and show to others on social networking sites, having multiple digital identities can quickly have a negative influence on our lives.


References

The Telegraph. (January 2010). Half of employers ‘reject potential worker after look at Facebook page’. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/6968320/Half-of-employers-reject-potential-worker-after-look-at-Facebook-page.html

Madden, M. & Smith, A. (2010, May 26). Reputation Management and Social Media. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/05/26/reputation-management-and-social-media/

Williams, S. A., Fleming, S. C., Lundqvist, K. O., & Parslow, P. N. (2010). Understanding your digital identity. Learning Exchange, 1(1). Retrieved from http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/17011

Images

Figure 1: Gideon Burton. (January 2009). Online ID dogtag. Online Image. Flickr. Retrieved from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wakingtiger/3157622308/in/photolist-5P2D6W-9nLfxS-kqyHVX-57cAqJ-6dZuwT-6iVSoG-6iVSkJ-6iRGoe-6iVSgL-6iVSfL-6iVSnN-6iRGrK-6iRGsH-6iVSdG-6iVSpJ-6iVSpd-7fr3Wr-4mdbk8-8vBW4Z-7hGojs-dzausz-dkYFci-gVcKyj-5aTh4o-9bEV9B-62nyxw-ajrGS8-ajuvdN-ahr8i5-ahon3K-amxKe4-4mdbji-5P2CM3-2gUKGC-ajuva1-ajrGGr-ajrGkF-ajrEet-ajrGPV-ajus1u-ajutk9-ajrE7e-6ASLik-amxpZF-4fJ48b-amAj6d-acnPv4-73DMNR-amAgZ9-afEdWu

Figure 2: Sean MacEntee. (November 2010). Social Media. Online Image. Flickr. Retrieved from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/5209796269/in/photolist-8WnyVB-8NM3he-g5jTWF-5MWXpt-9YEKTo-6AX2Qo-8CwN8z-7Kh7bs-8CxBjx-dWUWcb-8CAM11-8CBj3s-oHsWUa-8CAmQu-8CAgVh-oh7hti-6yNCXa-6ADDuF-8ku7v6-aSKGWZ-6z8prX-dU7Cn1-dGK1zs-8RszNr-7U4KnJ-93daad-9BBi5g-81gMx7-8CBeSS-6tXvwF-nZULtL-8Cx9hT-8CAoBW-8CAnKJ-8Cx6Qt-8h6sWa-6u1GFx-dyxsH5-ax3fZ6-8CwTLM-7kETST-9hAqzD-6nQr6u-hhwd41-bqJgjX-82TGSb-84Gxki-6ADDuK-8Wb619-78y1BK

Video images

– Figure 1: Sean MacEntee. (November 2010). Social Media. Online Image. Flickr. Retrieved from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/5209796269/in/photolist-8WnyVB-8NM3he-g5jTWF-5MWXpt-9YEKTo-6AX2Qo-8CwN8z-7Kh7bs-8CxBjx-dWUWcb-8CAM11-8CBj3s-oHsWUa-8CAmQu-8CAgVh-oh7hti-6yNCXa-6ADDuF-8ku7v6-aSKGWZ-6z8prX-dU7Cn1-dGK1zs-8RszNr-7U4KnJ-93daad-9BBi5g-81gMx7-8CBeSS-6tXvwF-nZULtL-8Cx9hT-8CAoBW-8CAnKJ-8Cx6Qt-8h6sWa-6u1GFx-dyxsH5-ax3fZ6-8CwTLM-7kETST-9hAqzD-6nQr6u-hhwd41-bqJgjX-82TGSb-84Gxki-6ADDuK-8Wb619-78y1BK

– Figure 2: Geralt. (February 2014). Online Image. Pixabay. Retrieved from: http://pixabay.com/p-241327/?no_redirect

Video Music

“Powerful Presentation” by Sophonic

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Blogpost 8

This week, for my final blogpost before the visual essay, I am going to discuss how others in my class have contributed to my learning throughout this module; and how I have possibly influenced their learning. Over the course of past 8 weeks we have been able to interact with a variety of different resources in order to aid our learning.

The first method I am going to talk about is the ‘blog buddies’. As part of the module, each week we were asked to read and comment on 2 other people’s blogposts from within the class – these were our ‘blog buddies’. The 2 people in my group were Jade and Ella. I found this task to be very effective throughout my own personal learning experience. Through reading the different blogposts it allowed me, at times, to see the same topic we had discussed in class from a different angle or viewpoint; and it enhanced any previous knowledge I had of the subject as well. I found it very useful to be able to read other people’s opinions on the same subject I had written about and how their own personal experiences related to this topic. The peer evaluations after each blogpost also aided my learning further as they consisted of positive and constructive feedback which helped me to develop my blogposts each week. In addition to this, commenting on Jade and Ella’s blogposts, gave me the opportunity to express my thoughts and analyse the different viewpoints discussed. I hope that any constructive feedback I gave helped Jade and Ella, as I found it beneficial to read what others thought of what I had written and some good points raised through these peer evaluations.

The other thing that I found useful throughout this Digital Economy module was the use of the social media site Twitter. At the beginning of the module, the class created the hashtag #LLWDE, to use when we were ‘tweeting’ about the topics discussed each week. Our tutor, Cristina Costa, used Twitter as a way of communicating with us and provided us with some links to interesting resources that we could look at. She also asked other academics to provide us with some guidelines to help with our blogpost topics and some suggestions of what area to focus on. I found this very beneficial throughout the course and at many times used it as a starting point when writing my blogposts. I definitely feel it has contributed to my progress throughout this module and it also gave me another outlook on Twitter. Before I started this Digital Economy class, I merely used Twitter to talk about random events, like who won The X Factor; but now I realise that there is a whole other side to Twitter and it can actually be used to aid learning for myself and others. Through sharing content and resources, Twitter has played a big role in my development and understanding of this module.

Twitter

Twitter

Overall, this module has been very interesting and has definitely given me a broader insight into Living, Learning and Working in the context of Digital Economy. From writing blogposts, to peer evaluations, to tweeting; these tools have influenced my learning and also gave me the chance to contribute to others’ learning as well.


Blogs

Cristina Costa | http://socialtheoryapplied.com/author/cristinacost/

Ella Watson | https://ellawatsondigiblog.wordpress.com/

Jade Paterson | http://jadepaterson95.wordpress.com/

Blogpost 7

‘Visual Essay’

Over the past 7 weeks, I have discussed some interesting topics in relation to Living, Learning and Working in the Context of Digital Economy throughout my blogposts. Digital Economy is a vast area of research, with technology developing at a rapid pace in recent decades impacting our society is massive way. As part of this module we have been asked to create a visual essay in relation to a topic within Digital Economy. Through conducting research each week to construct my blogposts, the topic that I am keen to explore more of is ‘Digital Identities’. This will therefore be the main focus for the visual essay.

As discussed in Blogpost 3, having an online identity is something that has become second nature to most people across the world. Our online activity has increased so much with the development of new technology that sometimes it’s just impossible to avoid.

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it” – Erik Qualman (Qualman, 2013)

Hurst (2013) discusses the impact of social networking in relation to recent poll results. He states that the British public on average spend an estimated 62 million hours each day on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This is a colossal amount of hours that we spend sifting through our ‘news feeds’ and ‘timelines’ and really shows just how much social media has become a part of our day to day lives.

the world before social media

The reason I have chosen ‘digital identities’ as my topic for the visual essay is because this an area that I feel relates to me most. As an avid social media user myself, I can see just how much time I spend using these sites and how I have firmly integrated it into my day to day life. Every day without fail I will check my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and others frequently throughout the day, simply just ‘to see what’s happening’ – which usually isn’t much. As a result of using these sites I have created an online identity.

digital identities

The photo above has been my stimulus for this visual essay. After seeing this image it got me thinking about how we identify ourselves in different ways online depending which social media site we use. The modern day social networking sites have made it very easy to pick and choose what information we want displayed on our online profiles and therefore we can manipulate what others see, giving them an impression of who we are. As previously mention in Blogpost 3, LinkedIn is a popular networking site that allows you to create a professional profile and a ‘brand’ for potential employers. This is one form of online identity – the ‘professional one’. On the other hand however, if you look at someone’s Facebook profile for example, you could be viewing a completely different person as they showcase themselves in a different way therefore showing another identity – the ‘personal one’.

After looking at these two aspects, I have decided that the main focus for my visual essay will be the idea of multiple identities online. The aim is to explore how and why people create different identities using social networking sites and the effect it has on them outside the virtual world.


References

Hurst, P. (2013). Britons spend 62m hours a day on social media – that’s an average one hour for every adult and child, The Independent. Retrieved from: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/britons-spend-62m-hours-a-day-on-social-media–thats-an-average-one-hour-for-every-adult-and-child-8567437.html

Pettigrew, A. (2014). Blogpost 3: Online Identities. Retrieved from: https://ajp95x.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/blogpost-3/

Qualman, E. (2013). Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Blogpost 6

‘Online Surveillance’ – Is it really for the greater good?

Millions of people around the world advertise themselves online. We are voluntarily open about our personal information and many of us put it out there on the internet for everyone to see. Whether you are using Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or any other social media site, our details have been released into the world and we often don’t realise how much information we have revealed. Privacy should therefore be one of our main priorities when using the internet and being safe online has become crucial in recent years with the rapid increase in digital technology. Online surveillance has also been on the rise since online activity within society has become such a major part of our day to day lives. This blog will discuss the pros and cons of online surveillance.

Surveillance can be defined as “the collection and analysis of information about populations in order to govern their activities” (Haggerty and Ericson, 2006). Online surveillance is therefore the act of surveying computer activities and data stored or being transferred over the Internet (Centinel Limited, 2010). During my time using the internet I have noticed many forms of online surveillance and I feel that there are two main aspects to explore; the privacy interference and protection.

online surveillance

I was reading a news article by James Ball (2014) on how social media is being used as a mass surveillance system. It details how the information that we post on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are monitored by the security services as they are deemed to be “external communications” (Ball, 2014). Social media sites claim to be private and therefore I think this is an invasion of our privacy. This is one of the disadvantages of internet surveillance. To me privacy is one of the most important things when using the internet and knowing that someone could see every movement that I make online is a little scary; especially when it comes to social media sites where private information is available. From having our direct messages on Twitter tracked to what we search on Google, is there no limit?

YouTube Video: ‘Stop Online Spying on Your Private Life’

On the other hand however, many would argue that internet surveillance is there to protect us and is only used as a means to do so. The police and intelligence services have the ability to access people’s online activity and emails in order to monitor crime and terrorism (Symonds, 2012). This is of course a good thing as the public can begin to be protected from serious threats; Home Secretary, Theresa May, even went as far to say that it could “save people’s lives” (The Telegraph, 2012).

So the question is; do we want a society where we are safe and protected but have zero privacy as a result? I personally think there has to be some boundaries to how much security services are able to view. Yes, it is important that we are protected, but why should we all be treated like criminals with every move being watched in order to catch the real ones.


References

Ball, J. (2014). Social media mass surveillance is permitted by law, says top UK official. The Guardian. Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/17/mass-surveillance-social-media-permitted-uk-law-charles-farr

Centinel Limtied. (2010). Computer Related Services. Retrieved from: http://www.centinel.com.hk/computer_related_services.html

Haggerty, K. D. & Ericson, R. V. (2006) The New Politics of Surveillance and Visibility, Toronto, Buffalo & London: University of Toronto Press

Symonds, T. (2012). How will the proposed surveillance laws work? BBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18434232

The Telegraph. (2012). Internet surveillance will save lives, says Theresa May. The Telegraph. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9718163/Internet-surveillance-will-save-lives-says-Theresa-May.html

Blogpost 5

‘Digital Citizenship’

digital citizenship

‘Digital Citizenship’ can be defined as the “appropriate and responsible behaviour” associated with using technology online (Ribble, 2014). Within society, not all people will conduct themselves in a suitable manner during their online activity and it has therefore become a growing concern to teach young people how to contribute effectively to being a digital citizen. There are 9 elements of digital citizenship that can be explored (shown in figure 1). As an avid digital user myself, I have been able to recognise how all of these factors are relevant to my online use; but the aspect of digital communication is one that I feel is the biggest factor within society and relates to me most, therefore this will be the main topic of this blogpost.

Figure 1

Figure 1

One of the biggest changes that our society has begun to adapt to over the past few years, is the leap into the digital age. A person’s ability to communicate with people has changed drastically with abundant communication options available to almost everyone. From mobile phones to email to a quick Facebook message, society is very much technology orientated with digital communication at the forefront. Digital communication in simple terms is the electronic exchange of information. To affectively do this, means to possess the “ability to associate with other people online in a way that is safe, appropriate, and beneficial to the online community” (Digital Citizenship, 2014) – therefore being a positive digital citizen.

YouTube Video: Digital Communication

As a student at university, digital communication is an important resource that I use every day. The majority of information shared with students is via email, online digital discussion forums and also during lectures, as powerpoint presentations are used to convey the main ideas. It is a quick an easy way for lecturers to communicate the appropriate information with students and also allows us as students to communicate with each other. I have also used other forms of digital communication whilst at university such as video chats with lecturers outside the university; which helped to broaden my understanding of a topic. Even using this blog to share information is a form of digital communication, as I am sharing with not only my fellow class members but with the rest of world! It is an effective teaching resource and a positive way for me as a student to communicate with different people as well as being another outlet to sharing information.

As stated previously using digital communication effectively and being a responsible digital citizen requires us to obtain a certain level of appropriate behaviour whilst doing so. This involves having the right etiquette and being safe whilst using these forms of communication. The website, Digital Citizenship, provides some tips for ‘proper digital communication’ – click here.

I have always felt that digital communication is a vital part of my day to day life. One way or another I use some form digital communication in most situations, whether it be communicating with friends or lecturers or even learning at university. It is a fast evolving phenomenon and, as the YouTube video said, digital communication is the way of the future.


 

References

Digital Citizenship. (2014). Digital Communication. Retrieved from: https://cunedigitalcitizenship.wikispaces.com/Digital+Communication

Ribble, M. (2014). Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved from: http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html

Blogpost 4

‘Remixing Content’

In today’s society, the internet has provided people with a platform to showcase their work across the world. Anything we put on the internet is out there for the world to see and it has therefore become increasingly important to protect ourselves so that we get the credit we deserve. Millions of people upload files to the internet every day, from pictures to videos, as well as music and online resources. Due to this, remix culture has become a popular phenomenon, with people across the world developing and changing other people’s work to create new and innovative ideas.

Remixing is defined as “the act of rearranging, combing, editorializing, and adding originals to create something entirely new” (Jessell, 2013). So in other words, it means taking someone else’s work and transforming it with your own input and combination with your ideas. Making your content available online for everyone to access and put their own stamp on will come advantages and disadvantages, some of which will be discussed in this blog.

“My biggest inspirations were the ’60s, the ’70s, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Twiggy and Diana Ross. I’ve always been fascinated by the way contemporary art uses different elements and references to produce something unique.” — Beyoncé, on her video for “Countdown” (TED Blog)

An advantage of the remixing content culture is that people’s work is widely available for everyone across the world. When we post something online we become a part of a community where we are happy to share our work with other people. Because of this, other people’s work can have the ability to inspire and encourage or enhance our creativities. YouTube is one of the biggest platforms for remixing. It contains thousands of videos uploaded by people who have created their own versions of content. Music artists in the charts have used other artists to inspire a track of their own by changing a classic song into their own style of music. For example, R&B artist, Jeremih released a song this year that uses lyrics from Snap!’s 1992 single ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’. Artists like this can build upon a person’s work and bring it into the modern age. Kirby Ferguson believes in this idea and recently did a talk at TED where he discussed how remix culture fuels creativity and invention (video below). He firmly believes that “everything is a remix” and this is a “better way of to conceive creativity” (Popova, n.d.).

YouTube Video – Kirby Fergusion: Embracing the Remix

“A lot of artists are used to their music being reused online and have come to accept and embrace it. You have a generation who go on YouTube and remake and remix music online all the time. They remake and upload songs and videos, and then other people remake the remakes; it just keeps going.” — Girl Talk (TED Blog)

However there are some disadvantages to remix culture and having content freely available online. Although it is thought that other peoples work can inspire us with our own ideas, this can present some problems for copyright laws. Because content is so readily available, it can be very easy to breach copyright with many people using others’ work and passing it off as their own without crediting the original sources. This is one issue with remixing content and can have some serious legal effects if the credit isn’t given. Pop Star, Robin Thicke recently faced legal action from the family of Marvin Gaye for infringing the copyright of one Gaye’s compositions. His song ‘Blurred Lines’ was thought to sound very similar to the classic ‘Got to Give it Up’ by Marvin Gaye – although this is disputed (decide for yourself by clicking here). This is a prime example of how easy it is to simply take someone else’s work and not give the credit. In the case of Robin Thicke, his song went worldwide and as a result he made millions from the success, this however did raise some ethical and moral questions of whether he should actually get the credit for this song as it sounds so similar to another. Therefore legal action was taken as permission from the original artist wasn’t gained. I myself have been guilty of taking someone else’s work like a picture and using it for my own purposes without acknowledging where it came from. It is very easy to do and in some cases, unintentional, but depending on the circumstances, the consequences can be serious.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination …  Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery — celebrate it if you feel like it.” – Jim Jarmusch (TED Blog)

To conclude, remixing is something that is becoming second nature to most internet users. Whether it is music artists remixing a song or us simply revamping a picture, this culture is very much present within our digital age. People have access to millions of content that they can use to make something new of their own. We use other people’s creations as inspiration for us and by doing so can create a community that shares and collaborates together. However, freely sharing our content has the disadvantage of sometimes not getting the credit we deserve. Copyright laws are in place to protect artists from other people wrongfully using their work. It is there to ensure a certain level of ethics is maintained and that people can share their work knowing it is protected. It is important to acknowledge the original artist so that credit can be given where it’s due – after all would you want someone else stealing your work?


References

Jacobs, E. (2012). 14 brilliant quotes on remixing. Retrieved from: http://blog.ted.com/2012/08/10/14-brilliant-quotes-on-remixing/

Jessell, M. (2013). Remix Culture: Rethinking what we call original content. Retrieved from http://marketingland.com/remix-culture-rethinking-what-we-call-original-content-41791

Popova, M. (n.d.). How Remix Culture Fuels Creativity & Invention: Kirby Ferguson at TED. Retrieved from: http://www.brainpickings.org/2012/08/14/kirby-ferguson-ted/

Blogpost 3

Online Identities

Having an online identity is something that has become second nature to most people across the world. Each day thousands of people are joining digital communities, making social media one of most prominent features in today’s modern society. Even looking at my own social interactions online I can see this: I have around 6 different social networking sites that I use, emphasising to me just how much social media is a part of our lives.

‘Digital identity’ is the term used to described ‘the persona a person projects’ across these communities (Williams et.al., 2010). People’s identities are shown through the expression of their interests and opinions; as well as their interactions with friends via social networking. Sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, provide a platform for people to showcase themselves, which is not always a good thing. This blog will outline the advantage and disadvantage of having an online identity in terms of how it can affect our reputation and employability.

digital identity

Social media has not only changed the way that we interact with people around the world, but it has helped to shape the way we present ourselves to the world as well. Now-a-days it is very easy to give away person information about ourselves online and unintentionally create a negative persona and reputation. People don’t realise that the things they do online can manipulate how another person will perceive them, judging by your online activity. From being ‘tagged’ in a Facebook picture at a party to having a disagreement with someone online; these types of events create a picture of what you are like as a person and ultimately form your online identity.

As outlined in my previous blogposts, today’s society has been integrated into the world of digital technology. Because of this, our information is out there for anyone to see, and therefore many employers won’t hesitate to check up on employees through their online profiles – to basically get an idea of the type of person they are employing. A survey by Career Builder, found that 4 in 10 employers will discard a job seekers application after checking their Facebook page and are now using social networking sites to highlight any “digital dirt” (The Telegraph, 2010). This can be one of the disadvantages of having an online identity, as it can affect what an employer thinks about you as a person. I have seen first-hand how one Facebook post can result in job loss or a negative persona, created by online activity, can affect you actually getting a job.

YouTube Video: ‘Attention young professionals! What’s in your digital baggage?’

 

However, having an online identity can have its advantages. Today’s social networking sites have made it very easy to pick and choose what information you want displayed on your online profile and who you want to see it. In order to do this however, you need to know how. Madden and Smith (2010) stated that it is the young adults in today’s society that are more wary of what is posted about them online; with 71% of them customising their privacy settings, compared to the 33% of users aged 30-49 and the 25% of 50-64 year olds. This could be down to the fact that older generations don’t know how to do it or don’t see the importance of it. To me, privacy is one of the most important aspects to social networking and taking the necessary precautions to create a positive identity can have a profound effect, especially when seeking work. One social networking site called ‘LinkedIn’ allows you to create a professional profile and a ‘brand’ for potential employers. You can promote yourself in the most appealing way for your desired audience and keep your personal life separate (and private!) from your professional one.

linkedin

‘LinkedIn’

Online identities can be great things for showcasing who we are as people. But without the ability to monitor what we post and show to others on social networking sites, digital identities can quickly have a negative influence on our lives.


 

References

The Telegraph. (January 2010). Half of employers ‘reject potential worker after look at Facebook page’. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/6968320/Half-of-employers-reject-potential-worker-after-look-at-Facebook-page.html

Madden, M. & Smith, A. (2010, May 26). Reputation Management and Social Media. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/05/26/reputation-management-and-social-media/

Williams, S. A., Fleming, S. C., Lundqvist, K. O., & Parslow, P. N. (2010). Understanding your digital identity. Learning Exchange, 1(1). Retrieved from http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/17011

Blogpost 2

Developing Digital Literacies

Digital literacy is “the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the internet” (Cornell University, 2009). As outlined in my last blogpost, I think that being digitally savvy and literate is a very important aspect of daily living within today’s modern society and digital economy. Technology is at the forefront of everything we do, whether it is just living our day to day lives, learning as students or even just going to work. The need to develop digital literacy is fast growing, as digitalisation is taking over some of the simplest tasks; from communicating with friends to simply buying a train ticket. People need to understand the new innovative technology in our society by becoming digitally literate.

Coombs and Hinrichsen (2014) discuss 5 resources used in digital literacy. These resources are designed to be interlinked with each other to make up what it means to be digitally literate. One of these resources that I could particularly relate to is analysing. Due to internet being such a diverse and extensive place where any information is available, developing this digital literacy resource allows us to have a better understanding of what we as learners are looking at on the internet. Analysing is the ability to make ‘informed judgements and choices’ within the digital world and being able to identify useful digital materials, whilst deciphering if the text is relevant or not for a specific topic (Coombs and Hinrichsen, 2014). Analysing has 3 key characteristics that allow learners, such as myself, to make these ‘informed judgements’. These consist of: deconstructing, selecting and interrogating (detailed in Figure 1). I think this is one of the most important skills to possess when using technology and is a key aspect to becoming digitally literate. From previous experience, being a student at university means having to conduct research for many assignments throughout each year; therefore having a resource like analysing to use when sifting through the screeds of information out there, is very important to ensure that I get the most credible sources to use in essays etc.

Figure 1: Coombs & Hinrichsen (2014).

Figure 1: Coombs & Hinrichsen (2014).

The need to be digitally literate has been recognised by many people throughout the world. It has been noted that many learners continue onto further and higher education, as well as into the working world, without any of the skills or knowledge needed to effectively use digital technology in their education and development. Because of this, companies – such as JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) – are now working with educational facilities to embed core digital skills into their curriculums, with the aim of equipping students for the next stage in their lives (JISC, 2014). This is the next logical step in insuring that future generations, and my own, are able to develop with and most importantly understand how to use, the ever evolving digital technology embedded deep within society. The need for digital literacy for living, learning and working in our current society is as prominent as ever.


References

– Cornell University. (2009). Digital Literacy Resource. Retrieved from: http://digitalliteracy.cornell.edu/

– Hinrichsen, J., & Coombs, A. (2014). The five resources of critical digital literacy: a framework for curriculum integration. Research in Learning Technology, 21(0).

– JISC. (2014). Developing Digital Literacies. Retrieved from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/developingdigitalliteracies.aspx

Blogpost 1

The Importance of being Digitally Savvy

Technology is everywhere. Wherever people go in the 21st century today you are surrounded by technology. It has evolved so much over the years and has now integrated itself firmly into society and has become a major part of our day to day lives. Whether it be using a mobile phone to text a friend or switching on the computer to ‘write’ or I should say type an essay; my generation and the next, have grown up in a world where technology is at the forefront of communication and learning – we are the digital natives. Prensky (2001) explores this idea of digital natives and immigrants; suggesting that today’s students have changed drastically and there is a noticeable difference compared to our ancestors. This therefore has had a direct impact on the way we learn and think in relation to our educational lives. From personal experience, using a library to find out information is a thing of the past and ‘Googling it’ is just what we do when we need to find the answer to something. Being digitally savvy and literate in this ever evolving lifestyle has therefore become so important in the current society, especially for teachers and people in a working environment, due to the extent of technology out there in the world.

Educationalists within today’s society have the added pressure of learning this new way of life and become digitally savvy in order to keep up with the moving times. You walk into classrooms and lecture halls and noticeably see how they have progressed with the new technology, as they now use smart-boards and other teaching aids to help improve the learning for students. These devices are used to help engage the children in their learning – education is conforming to a society that now lives in this digital age and that is one reason why it is so important to be digitally literate in this new world. Prensky (2001, p.2.) also presents the idea that students don’t understand their teachers because they are the digital immigrants which can therefore hinder their development. But should educationalists really have to alter their ways in order to teach this new breed of digitally literate students? In my opinion, yes they should. Times are moving on and digital technology is the way forward. We want information fast, we want fun and interactive learning instead of sitting and reading a book. Digital natives won’t go backwards and change our ways; this is life as we know it, but our older generations can. They can learn new things, they can embrace the change and become digitally savvy in order to improve the learning for children and engage them more during a lesson that would otherwise be mediocre and boring. After all, it has been said that our brains have been altered to learn with technology and it may be impossible to go back to past ways of teaching (Prensky, 2001 p.3.).

Even in the workplace, technology is a major part of the smooth running of a business. From conference calls to emails, technology has facilitated business to make it faster and easier for companies across the world (Jones, 2013). This is therefore another reason why people should embrace our digital world, as there are so many jobs that now require people to use technology as most basic tasks are now computerised.

Technology is here, and it’s here to stay.


References

– Jones, P. (2013). How evolving technology will change the business world. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/technology/business-technology/10298682/future-workplace-technology.html

– Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. MCB University Press, 9(5), 1-6.

About Me

Hi, my name is Adrienne and I am 19 years old. I am currently in my second year at Strathclyde University studying BA (Hons) Psychology.

Along with my chosen degree subject, this year, I have taken an interdisciplinary class called ‘Living, Learning and Working in the Context of Digital Economy’, which explores how technology has been vastly integrated into our society. I have always used and worked with technology throughout my life and therefore thought this class would be an interesting elective in addition to my other subjects. As part of the class I have set up this blog and each week I will post about some of the topics we have covered in class, giving my views and reflecting on each issue. I am looking forward to progressing through this module, with the hope that I can utilise any knowledge I gain in the future.