#Change11 Getting to know you – your identity

Do I know you?  And do you know me?

I read this interesting post from Connecting the Dots that also relates to AK’s post on Do we need to know one another when sharing and Jaap’s post.

The author in the Connecting the Dots says:

“As I noted in my comment on Tools for Collective Learning last week, I think there is a fifth ‘c’ here that involves commitment.”

“I don’t seem to need to ‘know’ someone in order to share online.  Recognizing an online identity may help but it’s neither the only deciding factor nor the most important for me anymore.”

How is commitment decided by you?  I do commit in sharing based on efforts and time, but also the trust I have on the other persons, in terms of their authenticity in identity, the intention and content quality of their sharing of ideas or information.

I posted on the FB: Do you think you really know who one is when connection is behind a digital identity? Would that account for the trust level we associate with networking?

Jaap’s response: People do not care, they do not know. Businesses use digital fake identities to foster sales, and nobody wants to know. There is a lot of trust.

My response: If people do not care, and do not know, how would relationship be built? Relationship without caring may impact on learning, as the interaction becomes superficial. Imagine the feelings of making a phone call to a service company, where one is directed just by a virtual voice, press one, two, and then followed by a recording telling us what to do… What would be our impression on the business? You are right in that businesses use digital fake identities to foster sales, or even boost up the market share with advertising tactics (keep pressing the likes, or positive voting on the sites). My question is: what ethical issues and distrust would emerge with these practices. I don’t know if I would really trust these e-businesses, in the long run. With the same token, if this happens in networking, where people hid themselves with fake digital identities and practise with unethical camouflage, then this would impact on the trust level among networkers. Who would like to network with a troll who pretends to be an evangelist? I think this is becoming an issue, especially when networking online without an understanding of “each others” in the networks. That also explains why I am trying to learn a bit more about others before I would embark on an e-journey of networking in new networks. Would like to learn about your views on “a lot of trust”. Would disclosure of some of the others’ background be a consideration of trust?

So, for me, I could share without knowing much about the other person initially in virtual or online networks. However, for such connection to be sustainable, I reckon I would like to find out more about the person behind the ideas, or blogs, or postings, through further inquiry, or a dialogue with comments, and not just consuming the ideas of the blog post, or creating a blog post in response.  There is a deeper level of understanding required on the other person before I could fully engage into the learning conversation.  That’s my experience throughout the MOOCs and networked learning.

Do you really know who you are connected to? Is connection to ideas more important to persons?  May be when I am just trying to learn about ideas, and not looking for further conversation or exchange of ideas, then I don’t need to know about the identity of others.

That is also the challenge on openness and identity that I shared in my previous post:

It is a personal choice, and although I am in favor of openness, I could understand that openness is not viewed as a nominal practice for many professions. This is especially so, for certain professions like medical profession, where duty of care, professional accountability and responsibility comes before any disclosure of incidents or experience that relate to patients or medical care.  Exposure of one’s true identity (both as a professional, an educator or student) might have an impact on one’s professional identity, personal security and privacy – like those working in sensitive professions – in defence or police operations.  I also think there are significant issues not addressed when debating about political or social aspects in public which may relate to individual organisations, especially when such debates/discourse could be viewed and judged by the public, present or potential employers.

Photo credit: Flickr on girl in meditation


#Change11 Technology, Changes, Wicked problems and Identity

What is the impact of technology on education policy? Here Rich says in his post:

Who’s missing? People who should be getting comfortable with the disruptive forces in higher education. There are almost no university administrators or technology managers.   EDUCAUSE is nowhere to be seen.  There are dozens of websites that devoted to studying and commenting on policy issues, but if they are aware of Change11, they are silent about it.

Is Change11 or MOOC-fication the wave of the future? Probably not.  It’s an experiment.

Why?  Isn’t it a huge challenge for administrators and technology managers to comment on the policy issues, and technological changes needed to advance and innovate in open spaces?  What are the problems that administrators and technology managers are trying to solve in their institutions?  There are even urges for reforms in universities.  There are also big and small fixes in higher education, where big fixes relate to policy changes and small fixes relate to technology innovation.

May be what MOOC is trying to tackle are the Wicked Problems associated with some of the big and small fixes in higher education, Social Complexity, and the affordance and disruption of technology and the impacts on distance education, training and networked learning.

The more I explored about the wicked problems, the more I started to question the assumptions behind the problems and solution to distance education and networked learning.

Here Nancy Roberts concluded that:

We learn that wicked problems are socially defined so that getting the “whole system in the room” to enable people to learn from one another is very useful. And given the constraints and complexity of crisis situations, social learning is more likely to be successful if it remains as self-organizing, complex adaptive system that co-evolves as stakeholders meet, interact, and inform one another’s actions.  Ultimately, we learnt that to lead, facilitate and participate in such collective undertakings require an act of faith.  It begins with the hope that there is a better way of doing things, a recognition that failure is possible, and a willingness to ‘ trust the process’ without guarantees of a particular outcome.

Other wicked problems raised relating to the education and technology include:

  • Declining attention span
  • Lack of critical thinking
  • Fragmentation of information and learning
All these problems also relate to changes necessary in education and learning.

Learning about change is not always comfortable for people, as Jenny put it so well in finding and losing your voice in the collective that I found it resonating. “I think the actual binding (particularly if that binding is going to be long-term) has to be at a deeper and more individual level. Whilst the collective may be made up of a whole array of resources, it is also made up of individuals, whose learning will be determined by their perceptions of their individual identities in relation to the collective.” I shared my views on individual identity here.