Unit 2 | Digital Identity and Presence


The Virtual Symposium week exposed you to many different thoughts and ideas with respect to digital learning environments. In Unit 2, you will focus on understanding participatory cultures, digital literacies, and on what it means to create a digital presence and identity. Questions of what, why, how, and for whom will be examined. The unit begins with a discussion of digital identities and design considerations surrounding digital presence. We will discuss the resident-visitor typology and you will identify your use of technology as it applies to this typology. In this Unit, you will begin to build your digital identity through the creation of your own WordPress site which you will actively use throughout your program.

Learning Activities and Assignments

  • Create your WordPress site.
  • Review your reflection written from Week 1 the Virtual Symposium, edit it and post it as your first blog post.
  • Schedule your 1:1 with the Program Head (me). Drop me an email and we will find a time that works.
  • Read the Unit 2 readings and analyze the resident-visitor typology.
  • Map your use of technologies as it pertains to the resident-visitor typology.
  • Begin Assignment 1: Create, Cultivate, and Reflect on your Digital Presence:
    • Review and analyze scholarly and popular literature on digital presence and identity;
    • Create a plan to support the cultivation of your digital presence and digital identity throughout the program; and
    • Provide feedback to peers on their proposed plan.
  • Participate in interactive discussions and contribute to your colleagues blogs

Let’s get started!

Unit 2 – Activity 1 | Create your own WordPress site

You have now been provided with access to your own instance of WebSpace powered by WordPress for you to customize and make your own throughout the program. This week you need to spend some time setting up your WordPress site and giving some thought to the digital presence and digital identity you would like to cultivate as a graduate student, and you even have your first blog post (Week 1 Activity 1)! Remember, your academic voice and your critical academic blogging will be different than perhaps the blogging you are used to or have experienced. Here is an overview of critical academic writing   and a resource on academic blogging to get you started – no doubt you will find more resources as you go. Think of your blog posts as critical academic reflection where you are analyzing and synthesizing as you make connections between theory and practice. Don’t forget to explore the resources on the RRU Writing Centre as well.

For more information on Creative Commons licensing see creativecommons.org as well as the session from the 2018 MALAT Virtual Symposium

Clint Lalonde Topic: Sharing and CC licensing  

Link to Recorded Session

(0:00 – 58:20)
*please note we had some technical issues happen during this session so the video and audio may be slightly out of synch.

Unit 2 – Activity 2 | Map your use of technology as it pertains to the resident-visitor typology

It’s now your turn to map your use of digital technologies as it pertains to the resident-visitor typology. You task is to create a conceptual map of your use. Examples of maps created by others can be found at Visitors and Residents Maps padlet.

As you can see there are many different way to create such a map. You could create a digital map using an illustration software of your choice or you could create this map on paper. To get started, we suggest watching this video: Just the Mapping in which Dave White, one of the authors of the paper describing the visitor-resident typology, goes through the mapping process himself.

Once you are happy with your map, please post a copy of it on your blog. If you created a map on paper, please take a picture of it and share the image. In addition to the image of your map, you should (a) post a 100 to 200 word description explaining your map to others, and (b) comment on at least one other person’s map ether to ask clarifying questions or to note issues of interest.

Now take a moment to consider an alternative tension pair presented by Dave Cormier. Does it bring new insight to your conceptual map generated by the resident/visitor tension pair above? Post your thoughts on our course blog.

Unit 2 – Activity 3 | Begin Assignment 1: Create, Cultivate, and Reflect on your Digital Presence (Individual)

  1. Review and analyze scholarly and popular literature on digital presence and identity through the Unit 2 readings
  2. Create a plan to support the cultivation of your digital presence and digital identity throughout the program and post it on your blog. This plan should include many of the following areas:
    • your overall goal and purpose for cultivating your digital presence and identity;
    • your approach for achieving this goal;
    • identification of skills, knowledge gaps
    • strategies and approaches to address the identified gaps;
    • measure(s) of success
  3. Provide feedback to two peers on their proposed plan by posting a comment on their blog


  1. David Piechnik

    I REALLY like the tension pairs presented by Dave Cormier. I appreciated the focus on professional practice, rather than the split between personal and professional. It narrow down the tools I’m referencing, and tells a more nuanced story. Even without creating a map using these tension pairs I can get a sense of where some tools sit and I can envision a heavy weighting toward analogue/individual, but I’m intrigued by what might result if I actually filled in the map.

    I find myself questioning how much this is an alternative to the C/R tension pair, rather than a different conception altogether? I see similarities in the concept, but my perspective is that these quadrant maps tell a story, and the stories told by each are so different that they feel, to me anyway, more like distant cousins than siblings.

  2. Jean-Pierre Joubert

    In reviewing Dave Cormier’s post on this same process, he notes that this map, “sets the digital apart as something that either ‘is digital’ or ‘is not digital’” and that he, “was looking for something that looked at the whole of someone’s practice rather than just the digital stuff.” (Cormier, 2018, para. 9)

    The strange thing that I find is that, while I love the idea of analog, I find that (with the exception of some scribbles and initial diagramming), I work entirely digital. Currently, with COVID-19, I’m working remotely, something I did in my previous job, as well. Everything needs to be shared cross-teams and across countries and continents, so working “analog” hasn’t even been a something that is practical or even realistic for me.

    I do think that the idea of looking at individual vs. collaborative is useful, though from a perspective of data breaches, online privacy and digital rights I’m not sure it’s not a moot point. Many of these collaborative tools are terrible with regard to that and, if you want privacy, you have to pay for it. As an introvert, or even just as someone who sees the value in that delineation, it’s an odd dynamic to be okay with. From that regard, keeping things on local storage and local devices seems to be a requirement for private data and only use online tools if/when you want to collaborate.

    In summary, even if it’s not for me, I do like the discussion on analog vs. digital. If we’re looking at including analog as privacy, digital as less, and online digital as openly accessible, then this does make a great thought experiment. As someone who works almost or essentially digital-only, it doesn’t really change the above usage. It does, however, make me wonder if there might be some point in adding analog into my process for those stages I’d prefer to keep private.

  3. Barb Anderson

    I believe each map serves a different purpose. The V&R map gives me a sense of what tools I am using and the frequency of their use. It allows me to see where I might meet with students, what tools I can leverage, as I imagine what their map might look like.
    I see Dave Cormier’s map having more utility helping me to devise more modalities for reaching my students and acknowledging where I might be better served teaming up with others. I tend to jump to tech solutions when analogue ones might be the better option.

  4. Michael MacKay

    Sorry I could not find where to post this – so I just followed David’s lead:

    After reading Dave Cormier’s blog post and looking at the Visitor/Resident tension, it made me think about the multitude of complex dimensions that can be added to conceptual maps using this methodology. In our assignment, we added the tension of personal and institutional-based usage to our maps. In theory, we could create infinite more tensions that more accurately depict the complexity of online usage. What is really interesting is we can add or remove tensions to simplify or expand the maps, which in turn would make them more accurate but harder to conceptualize.

    This means we can slowly scaffold our understanding between different tensions while looking for relationships between others. It is a very universal and flexible way to understand our online usage. For example, in my life, I like to know how something works, so a tension-pair on required cognitive capacity would be valuable.

  5. cheryl haley nix

    After reading Dave Cormier’s post, it made me wonder if this is why I myself have two personas and I keep my professional life as a Hygienist and my processional life as an instructor separate. I feel that both can come together in some ways however is it possible to combine the two? It is important for myself to use all avenues to connect with my students. It may be beneficial to connect with other team members to see how they are interacting and where they fall on the spectrum.

  6. Ash Senini

    I agree with a lot of the comments above, especially the duality I find I have when using various tools and technology. I straddle the professional and personal use and find I lean towards the V/R map as opposed to a Digital/Analog map. I believe there is value in the D/A map in reflecting whether the tool use of myself, can be better quantified in this regard, however, in my own exercise, the pull to the V/R map was stronger and more relatable. I would, however, agree with Cormier, on the dilemma he encounters on the “first activities for a specific course”, as I have spent far too long thinking how to create an environment for students that engages them from the start, rather than lose them from the get-go.


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