Goal and Purpose
My overall goal and purpose for improving my digital presence and identity are to build new connections with individuals working in post-secondary education, people who are passionate about education and technology, and to open up new part-time and full-time work opportunities. Boyd (2011) states that social networks are used to build a digital presence and to share information with people who have an interest in the topic. Continuing to network with those that I have already connected with and building stronger relationships will open up new opportunities and will introduce me to new findings in my area of interest. I have already experienced this through reading posts from past professors and teaching assistants, and reading the dialogue that occurred through the comments section of the social networks.
In order to achieve these goals, I plan to create meaningful two-way communication on Twitter, LinkedIn and my Blog, post more academic and scholarly articles and build my digital network by connecting with individuals who will expand my knowledge and challenge my thinking in the field of education and technology. Using social networks will allow me to distribute information in a social act (Boyd, 2011) and incorporating a digital residency approach on social networks will allow for new opportunities (Hargittai & Walejko, 2008). By doing so, I will create more meaningful communication and relationships in a digital setting along the way.
Skills and Knowledge Gaps
Two knowledge gaps I have identified throughout this reflection are my academic writing skills and my knowledge of building a network with academics. The Royal Roads University Writing Centre (n.d., para. 1) states that “writing is a lifelong learning skill that is essential to scholarly and professional communication. The Writing Centre helps RRU students become skillful writers by providing assistance face-to-face, by phone, and online for all types of academic writing”. To build this communication requirement, I plan to book regular appointments with the writing centre and request feedback from peers and mentors to continue to grow as an academic writer.
Additionally, in order to build a strong social network, an individual must carefully construct the connections (Uzzi & Dunlap, 2005). By reaching out to mentors and professors I have built a relationship with, I can discuss the approaches they have taken in the past to build their networks and mimic their best practices.
Measures of success
In order to measure my success, I will monitor the following three criteria on a bi-monthly basis:
- Personal growth;
- Interactions with academics online; and
- Connections with academics online.
In order to meet my goals, I will give myself the two-year length of the Master of Arts in Learning and Technology program to achieve what I have set out to accomplish. Although I am giving myself two years, I will also reflect and make adjustments when appropriate based on my goals and other responsibilities and new opportunities that life may present to me.
Boyd, D. (2011). Social network sites as networked publics: Affordances, dynamics, and implications. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), A Networked Self (pp. 39–58). New York, NY: Rutledge.
Hargittai, E., & Walejko, G. (2008). The Participation Divide: Content creation and sharing in the digital age. Information, Community and Society, 11(2), 239-256.
Royal Roads Writing Centre. (n.d.). Writing Centre Home Page. Retrieved July 29, 2018, from http://library.royalroads.ca/writing-centre.
Uzzi, B., & Dunlap, S. (2005). How to build your network. Harvard Business Review, 83(12), 53-60.