Managing Teacher DIGITAL IDENTITY: Sharing, Oversharing and Undersharing
Managing Teacher DIGITAL IDENTITY
Sharing, Oversharing & Undersharing
TESOL GREECE 36th Annual International Convention
What is Digital Identity?
How many Digital Identities can we have?
What are some potential opportunities & perils of existing online?
Why is it important to manage ‘who we are’ online?
What are some ways this may be achieved?
The ego itself and how one’s self is represented and managed online
(James et al, 2009: 20)
Digital Identity is the sum of
all digitally available information
about an individual, irrespective
of its degree of validity, its form
or its accessibility.
It comprises everything that can be
found about us; from the content we
create or share to what other people
post about us.
It is becoming increasingly traceable,
due to the rapid growth of available
data and the big data capacities to
(Williams, 2010; Rose et al, 2012)
Photo by Joe Hunt https://flic.kr/p/pfr2Tp
Partial Identities or Digital Selves are subsets of a complete
digital identity. Each represents the person in a specific online space
or role i.e. attributes and properties may or may not be similar from
space to space or from role to role (Internet Society, 2013)
“Online spaces offer individuals an opportunity to have a voice,
an opportunity that may be rarer offline”(Stern, 2007)
Photo by Mustafa Khayat
‘The need to write our digital identities into existence can encourage reflection,
which can nurture greater awareness of one’s roles and responsibilities
to oneself, to others, and to one’s community’
(James et al, 2009:26)
‘Individuals can elicit feedback on their digital experiments from
broader, more diverse audiences, than they can offline’
(James et al, 2009: 24)
‘Without any principle of coherence, the self spins in all
directions. Multiplicity is not viable if it means shifting
among personalities that cannot communicate’
(Turkle, 1995: 58)
The PERFORMATIVE element
“Forming digital identities with an eye toward attracting or
entertaining a digital audience, may undermine the degree to
which an individual can engage in self-reflection (James et al, 2009)
People’s need to continuously signal their current locations, activities and
moods may set the stage for an overreliance on feedback, which can
undercut autonomy and create fragmented identities; they may also
develop a strong desire for positive feedback and praise from others which
may interfere with an individual’s capacity for reflecting in an abstract.
(James et al, 2009)
• Connecting one device to another
• The nearly constant sharing of information and connectivity to others online
Digital Identity as the currency
of the digital market
It can be used for good purposes but it can also ‘be unscrupulously
traded and abused’ (Saxby, 2011)
• When does sharing become oversharing?
• How might this affect your credibility or authority as an educator and
• Do you tend to share less for fear of exposure?
• What does it say about someone if they have limited
digital presence in a digital age?
The lines between professional and personal social media use
are increasingly blurred
‘The social web is still very young, and
society is still adjusting to the new-
found ability to share thoughts,
feelings and anecdotes with a global
audience. The real problem for those
of us who seek to make the most of
the opportunities offered by the
social media revolution is to try and
judge what the mood will be like in
(Williams, 2010: 7)
BUILD UP YOUR PERSONAL IDENTITY
Effective role-modeling as teachers
Don’t get too personal
X Date of birth
X Home location
X Inappropriate pictures
Embarrassing drunken photos
X Relationship statuses
especially when unstable
X Political/ Religious beliefs
X Too many selfies
The concept of identity is an issue of much greater complexity than it was in the
days of the offline world. It has never been more important to examine and
protect the concept of "who we are". We are at the beginning of a new discipline
of Web Science in which such issues need to be researched across disciplines.
Professor Stephen Saxby - University of Southampton, 2011
User created content or content creating users?
Cultures are always changing and evolving but, on the Internet the
concept of time and space is much more asynchronous and
fragmented than in other forms of media. The key cultural
consideration of the Internet is not so much the digitization of
information, but the digitization of us (Page, 2009; Federman, 2011)