Directed by my brilliant professor, I read an article this evening regarding digital identity of students and the evolving online presence of intellectual property. Watters suggests that students should be empowered with a personal internet domain. In contrast to traditional classrooms where students are guided through a private learning experience that is terminated at the end of a class, a student’s personal website allows “students [to] have much more say over what they present to the world, in terms of their public profiles, professional portfolios, and digital identities.” I found this to be extremely eye opening.
I have had my students use a multitude of technology platforms to help hone and develop their skills as learners in a digital world, yet at the end of the year, their work falls into the black hole of their former life as a fifth grader. Although the article pointed out examples of high school and college level students, the relevance for all children and their growing presence online was pertinent. My wheels are turning to find a way to give students more control over their online presence while maintaining an appropriateness for their age. Although, to be honest, I suspect many of them are far better at this whole blogging thing than I am!
The importance of exposing and helping students develop an online presence where they control their scholarship reminds me of the last reading I posted about. The “new literacy” is all about accessibility while developing new understandings through interaction with technologies. Encouraging students to show off their learning on a self directed platform only seems to make sense. I mean, look at me, sitting in bed and learning while you, my dear reader, access with my thoughts. Brilliant!