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Digital Presence, Instructional Design, & a Pin

[] Big Bubble by Hartwig HKD

My instructional design process has been influenced and has developed alongside and due to a growing digital presence and participation with others in online spaces. It was during a few months of working part time in 2015 that my need for interaction and professional development prompted me to be more active online, opening me to many new perspectives, critiques, and approaches to teaching and learning. I had a place to get out of my head. For me this wasn’t natural, and I may not have really gone out of my way to join in conversations I wasn’t invited to, or find ways to talk to a few people within this large herd, if I didn’t actually need it at that time. There have been a lot of awkward moments along the way, and there will continue to be. Sundi, don’t act giddy when you meet someone you follow on Twitter and who most likely doesn’t know who you are. But back to why I view this public practice as essential.

If you work at an institution, you are entrenched in that institutional culture. Your everyday is the physical place you work and you are most likely working with the dominant narratives of your institution, whatever those may be. These of course can be narratives that empower your work (for me these would be an openness to cross department collaboration or a commitment to a mission that supports service and social justice) and they can also be damaging (little institutional support, an unclear mission, or lack communication within the institution). However, our institutions don’t exist on their own islands. I have found that spending dedicated time outside my institution’s dominant narratives (mostly online) is an essential way to stay grounded, expand my perspective, and connect what I am doing to the larger world. I think this is often done at conferences or within closed professional networks, but these often exist in their own limited space and time.

Being open to be part of this chaotic public, how it is perceived, how people are treated (differently), and how it changes, are all important pieces of being aware of technology in society, exploring what learning in digital spaces looks like, and what it can look like.

And I need my bubble burst ever so often.

In what ways do you keep your world open?


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