Digital identity and remote teaching in Spring 2020

I have never really thought about my digital identity before, so the readings for week 1 presented a new way of thinking.  I found the digital identity models interesting.  In terms of the Visitors & Residents model, I certainly identify as a visitor online.  I read a lot on websites, Twitter, blogs, etc, and I follow the publications and posts of several very active educators. I check Facebook, and to a lesser extent Instagram, on a fairly regular basis.  However, I rarely leave comments or upload my own posts.  At the same time, I am much more active in closed groups, so I find I relate more to the Digital Practice model by Donna Lanclos.  The deciding factor in how much I will engage depends greatly on the size of the group/audience, how well I know them, and how comfortable I feel expressing my thoughts.

Sophie’s Digital Practice – Model by Donna Lanclos

I much prefer face-to-face communication, and will make phone calls rather than engage in texting and chats on social media.  I also shy away from recorded voice notes or videos of myself.  The shift to remote teaching in the middle of March pushed my boundaries! Suddenly, video chat was the only way to communicate with my students, and I was really quite nervous before the first online Zoom meeting.  In fact, it went quite well and I got used to it quite quickly.  The next step was to record some of the sessions at the request of my students since some of them had unreliable internet connections and didn’t want to miss what was discussed in class.  I started recording my classes, and the first time I watched the recording, it was painful!  I saw myself from a different perspective and I was extremely self-conscious.  However, after a few sessions, I stopped worrying about it. I feel this is a great step forward for me!

Through joining DigPINS, I am taking more steps outside my comfort zone.  Writing this blog is a completely new experience, and it triggers different anxieties.  I will see how I feel about blogging at the end of the month!  I will also try to be active on Slack and engage with others. Let’s see how it goes!

Image credits:

Digital Identity Logo by Adam Ross taken on May 2, 2011 – CC Creative Commons

Paper Bag Head CC Creative Commons

8 thoughts on “Digital identity and remote teaching in Spring 2020

  1. Thanks for this, Sophie. It really helps when people blog about their anxieties and vulnerabilities, because many others may be feeling that way and think that they’re alone… but reading how others felt helps… especially someone like you who is relatively progressive and innovative. I’m glad you made peace and became more comfortable. I also used to really dislike video conferencing, especially when my daughter was young and I would get interrupted a lot. I’ve grown more comfortable with it, and I guess my daughter has also grown up, which helped! Looking forward to DigPINS with you.

    1. Thank you Maha for this comment. Actually, I really like how relaxed you seem with having your daughter next to you while videoconferencing. I think many people struggle with the balance of being a mum and a professional, especially when working from home; you made it look easy to be both! I mentioned this to a colleague who has 3 young children at home and is preparing to teach the summer course online. I suggested that she introduce her children to her class and make them part of it if they happen to show interest in what she is doing during a Zoom session! It is easy to give advice like that, but much more difficult to follow it!

    2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inner feelings, Sophie! I definitely have and relate to the same anxieties and vulnerabilities.

      1. Thanks for your comment Mariam. It is always good to share thoughts, especially when we realize so many of us feel the same!

  2. I really relate to your anxiety about teaching online. I even hate taking photos! So I was terrified of teaching over Zoom and recording videos… But, I was surprised how quickly I got comfortable with it. I even started watching (and enjoying!) my recordings. It’s actually pretty useful to be able to see your own lectures / classes from the perspective of students. In hindsight, I think it’s a good thing this past semester made many of us face this fear.

    1. Thanks Alyssa for your comment. I totally agree! It is always empowering when we start doing something we were dreading, and it turns out better than expected!

  3. Though I have just met you face-to-face twice on campus, feel like we have a lot in common. I am not faculty, but I believe that similar types of personalities may share the same digital presence.
    Feel very happy when we meet in the breakout room :))

    1. Thank you Sally for your comment. I agree that our personalities influence our preferred modes of communication. Isn’t it funny that we met and felt closer in an online environment (Zoom breakout room), although we both seem to prefer face to face?!

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