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DIGITAL IDENTITIES (& Citizenship):
Leading in the Open
BONNIE STEWART
University of Prince Edward Island
April 6, 2017
Keene State College, NH
Me. (idealized digital identity)
photo credit: http://www.iamrachelpeters.com/
My work. (real digital identity)
Open practice
In other words…
scholarship
what people
had for lunch
+ Citizenship.
knowledge scarcity
knowledge abundance
open participation
public models
market models
gatekeeping
The shift towards Open reflects
intersecting tensions
Leadership = citizenship.
Scholarship = citizenship.
In the Open…
This is digital citizenship
But it is NOT about technology, per se.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_theory_(education)#/media/File:Islington_College_Multimedia_Lab.jpg
“Nothing could be more absurd than an experiment
in which computers are placed in a classroom where
nothing else is changed.”
– Seymour Papert, 1993
Open citizenship is a practice of
SHARING
(blog posts, status updates, half-baked ideas,
data, vulnerabilities, successes…)
But also navigating borders & belonging.
Sharing requires cultivation of audience
Citizenship…
always / already complicated
https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-94cf-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
In the globalized 21st century, not all empires
are geopolitical.
Empires are constructed from
money, territory, & information.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrovezini/4995737599
Identity is the price of admission.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/143601516@N03/28011015990http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelotuscarroll/6842167375/
Well, what happened?
Our sites of identity & citizenship =
commodities in an
attention economy.
http://jaysimons.deviantart.com/art/Map-of-the-Internet-1-0-427143215
Our sites of
learning, also.
.
Open has benefits for higher ed.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/30081278011/
Open also raises issues for higher ed.
let’s look at being a citizen of the Open.
In day-to-day practice…
Citizenship in the Open =
Market models
Open citizenship operates in quantified
spaces
Surveilled spaces
“When you work for a company or an institution that collects or trades
data, you’re making it easy to surveil people…you’re making it easy to
discipline people. You’re making it easy to control people. You’re putting
people at risk. You’re putting students at risk.”
- Audrey Watters, 2017
http://hackeducation.com/2017/02/02/ed-tech-and-trump
…and branded spaces.
The prestige economies of open scholarship &
conventional scholarship intersect, creating benefits.
n an attention economy, visibility matters.
People without wealth are at a disadvantage.
But open citizenship is often built on
free labour.
The more things
change…
Given that higher
ed is already
stratified, we
need to ensure
the Open practices
we model do not
increase citizens’
disadvantages.
Knowledge abundance
https://www.flickr.com/photos/piper/19904408
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jaredzimmerman/15728149611
"For the first time in human history, two related
propositions are true. One, it no longer is possible to
store within the human brain all of the information that
a human needs.
Second, it no longer is necessary to store within the
human brain all of the information that humans need.
Education needs to be geared toward the handling of
data rather than the accumulation of data.”
- Berlo, 1975
This demands open content + open
practice…+ media literacy
http://blogs.ifla.org/lpa/files/2017/01/How-to-Spot-Fake-News-1.jpg
But media literacy is not enough.
If abundance demands the handling of data, not
only our media & educational
practices need to change, but what we
count as KNOWING.
No gatekeepers = no checks & balances
Racism, sexism, radicalization of
all stripes
Participatory spaces
Performative
Open practices
in participatory
space force
constant
negotiation
of identity.
Different from an institutional role.
Participatory open citizenship is built
through ongoing signals & traces
But these must compete with distractions…
Spectacle
& Mistrust
*
¤ None of this is new…but it all
contributes to an information
ecosystem in which people feel
cynical and confronted –
by difference, by jealousy, by
challenges to their worldviews, by
blatant efforts to deceive – all in the
same spaces.
Participation is confronting.
Being confronted
gets people all up
in their feelings
We need new stories.
We don’t have positive cultural narratives for
healthy participation in the Open, nor a vision
of what that would mean.
http://gossipgenie.com/viewpoint-im-a-social-media-addict/
The more signals & traces we create…
The more we likely we are to make someone
feel confronted.
Add in virtue signalling…
…and tactical contrarianism
…and identity spaces that amplify
anger at loss of dominance
Polarization
So digital citizenship is a total gong show.
Close the internet & go home.
WAIT.
None of this is new.
Not the spectacle.
Not the sexism.
Not the racism.
Not the polarization.
We the citizens have made this place.
To build citizens for abundance &
participation, we need to practice
collaboration.
- Mike Caulfield
@holden
We need to focus our attention on the parts of
the Open – and of media, and of society –
that are NOT polarized.
And build new practices of citizenship
HOW?
There is no simple
button to push.
I have one story.
The Maritimes, 1920s:
company towns, fishing, outmigration
Moses Coady
& Jimmy Tompkins
1.  Take the time to
understand our
circumstances & the
structures that shape
our prospects
2.  Take the risk of
working together to
put pressure on those
structures in the places
we can move them
An adult education movement
Literacy, economic cooperation,
rural community development, empowerment
3 Layer Model:
1.  Mass Meetings
2.  School For Leaders
3. Study Clubs
*
I want to do it again.
3 Layer Model:
1.  Global Network
2. Regional Institutional Hubs & Summer Institute
3. Community Workshops & Study Clubs
#Antigonish2
A way to work together to identify – & put our
shoulders to the wheel of – means to
effect change.
Structures. Narratives. Practices.
Community Capacity-Building
Through a lens of Media Literacy
Goal: minimizing polarization
Will it solve all our problems?
NO
But it may help us figure out what to
do when confronted…
#4wordstories
*
THANK YOU.

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Digital identities & citizenship: Leading in the Open