Reflection–Online Netiquette & Digital Identity

While reviewing the messages posted earlier this quarter in the Online Netiquette &Your Digital Identity forum on the Discussion Board, I was once again mind-boggled by the ever-changing and exponentially increasing aspects of the digital world. As one who has always enjoyed writing, I reflect back to my numerous hand written journals as well as typed (and re-typed) college term papers at SPU, and then recall the thrill of becoming the proud owner of my first personal computer (as a fourth-year teacher!) in the mid-1980s. My little Apple II c opened up a whole new world for me!

Little did I know that one day I would be posting regularly on my own “blog” and maintaining a bPortfolio—through SPU! Now my “new world” is cyberspace. I must admit that I love the instantaneous satisfaction of online publishing–however, I am mindful of the need for taking appropriate safety precautions, as recommended in many of the course materials. In, Realities to Values: A Strategy Framework for Digital Natives, author Helene Blowers offers compelling explanations of the challenging issues that have never before been experienced by previous generations, yet are now commonplace for young adults.

Particularly as an educator, I believe that taking this responsibility of wise internet use seriously, is not only important for my own personal welfare, but is another arena where I must become example for my students. Just as my role includes teaching students to exercise self-control in their interactions with others in the classroom setting (with words, actions, etc.) perhaps I must also teach students to see a broader view of the scope of their “presence”.  They must come to understand that just because something is possible (at lightning speed via the internet)–does not mean it is wise, healthy or positive. Thoughtfulness and self-control are critical–whether words, actions, etc. are “in person” or conveyed via an extension of a person’s “internet presence”.

Although I will probably not be “tweeting” by next week, I do intend to continue in my quest to embrace new technology as I customize my digital profile—with thoughtfulness and wisdom.

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