Calli's Blog

"If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space"

Blog Post #11 Who Needs To Know About Your PLN?

The readings for our final week of EDCI 338, made me reflect on what I have gained, personally and professionally, from taking this class.  One of the most important things I have learned in this course is the value of having a personal learning network(PLN) that encompasses life-long learning through diversity, and making meaningful connections with others. The knowledge that I have gained from the personal experiences shared in weekly blogs, guest interviews, course readings, and most importantly, Jayne and Asha, will forever change who I am and who I want to be. As “ great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone”, having the opportunity to share my thoughts, knowledge, ideas, and insights and then learn from other people’s opinions and perspectives, has made me realize how important it is to continue to learn, and grow as a leader and role model(Qualman, 2012).  When you want to be a leader, you can actually influence people more when you share information.

My perspective on how to use social media in my personal life has changed since the beginning of this course. I am much more focussed on the presentation and reputation of my digital identity. No matter what social media platform I use, I am much more aware of the digital image that I am creating of myself and how this can affect my reputation. The posts and comments that I make are a representation of who I am as a person so it is best to share supportive comments and learn to share differing opinions in a kind and thoughtful way. It is easy to react in the moment and comment when you are emotional but social media can be very unforgiving. My perspectives on social media has also expanded from just using social media for personal use to learning how to promote professional growth as well. In a professional setting, a PLN can create more opportunities to share ideas, experiences, and resources with other experts and professionals in relation to our professional interests, “every connection we have knows something that we do not”(Qualman, 2012).  I also have a much better understanding of the role diversity has in my personal and professional growth. The readings and videos clarified the importance behind incorporating diversity into my PLN and made me think about looking at situations through a different lens. 

The blogs that have been posted by my classmates throughout the course has provided me with valuable information and given me insight into a variety of different perspectives on what role our digital identity plays in our professional development.  I am aware of the ramifications your digital identity can have on your professional career in terms of applying for jobs. The fact that more and more employers are looking at future employee social media accounts was eye opening. When ever I post pictures or comment on pictures, I always remind myself to not post something that could be deemed insensitive or offensive to a future employer. By taking a step back and being critical about my digital identity, I have realized that there is a certain level of responsibility that comes with using social media for personal and professional purposes. The valuable lessons that I have learned on how to manage and protect my reputation in public and private online spaces and how important it is to be media literate in today’s online world, will help me communicate and collaborate in a much better way in the future. 

Moving forward, I am excited to expand my PLN and look for new opportunities to learn and network from people that I wouldn’t normally connect with.  Through diversity, I will continue to listen to peoples experiences and apply them to my own life. I will expand my networking skills and use a variety of social media tools to promote and advocate for social change. This course has given me incentive to get involved in my community because a group of people no matter what their experiences, are more powerful than one voice. I also think that it is worth mentioning that I value the importance of listening and having discussions about issues that may be uncomfortable because I now know how important it is for others to learn as well.


Qualman, E. (2012). Digital leader: 5 simple keys to success and influence (1st ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Chapter Retrieved from:

Blog Post #10 Engaging Your PLN

How you can use the PLN interactions of this course to further your digital identity post-term?

I will use my PLN interactions from EDCI 338 to further my digital identity post-term by continuing to learn by sharing ideas, experiences, and resources with classmates on Mattermost. The blogs that have been posted by my classmates throughout the course has provided me with valuable information and given me insight into a variety of different perspectives on what our digital identity is and the role it has in my professional development. By taking a step back and being critical about my digital identity, I have realized that there is a certain level of responsibility that comes with using social media for personal and professional purposes. The valuable lessons that I have learned on how to “manage and protect my reputation in public and private online spaces” and how important it is to be media literate in today’s online world, will help me communicate and collaborate in a much better way(Olivera, 2014). I also think the PLN interactions from this class will help remind me to stay focused on the two areas of my digital identity that Costa & Torres highlight; presentation and reputation(Olivera, 2014). My presentation will encompass how I work online and how I engage and interact in shared spaces, and my reputation will focus on the perspective that others have of me. By expanding my digital identity, I will build trust with the people I interact with and this will improve my online reputation and credibility. I am hoping that my PLN interactions in this class will continue post term because I have met a lot of cool people and I hope to stay connected through various social media platforms.

What does it mean to have a digital identity in your industry of choice and can your current PLN be used to help professional development post-course? 

As a fifth year Recreation and Health student at UVic, it is important to have a  digital identity that is well respected by my peers. As a varsity athlete, it is important to have a digital identity that is an honest reflection of who I am and how much I value representing my team, teammates, coaches and university, in a respectful way. It is a challenge to keep my personal and professional digital identities separate and my current PLN will continue to support me in achieving a balance between the two. When I graduate next year, one of my goals is to try and play basketball professionally overseas. I hope to continue to expand my PLN and connect with people that may be able to help me achieve this goal. If my dream does not work out, I will continue to expand my PLN with people who have similar interests in working in the recreation and health field. No matter what direction I take, the goal will be to continue to build a network of people with whom you are connected to in order to learn and that is created according to personal interests and needs, providing learning opportunities, providing answers to questions and contributing to mutual learning(Olivera, 2014).

As you progress through the steps of your career, can your PLN be relied on to open professional opportunities?

 I think that as I progress through my career, my PLN can be used to help open  professional opportunities because it not only provides me an opportunity to share resources and ideas with other professionals anywhere in the world, but it also provides me a way to share my knowledge with others and a way to gain new perspectives.  After all, a PLN is a group of colleagues and/or professionals that you can connect with in order to enhance your personal learning and take charge of your own professional development. I believe that learning never stops and the connections that I have made and will make, will provide me with opportunities for professional growth.


Oliveira, N. R., & Morgado, L. (2014). “Digital Identity of Researchers and Their Personal Learning Network.” Learning and Collaboration Technologies. Technology-Rich Environments for Learning and Collaboration, 469–475. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-07485-6_46

Blog Post #9 Why Media Literacy matters in your PLN

What Is Media Literacy And Why Is It Important?

Media literacy is the ability to identify different types of media, such as newspapers, TV, tweets, videos, web sites, etc. and understand the message or information they are intending to convey. However, media literacy means not only to be able to analyze and evaluate the media that surrounds us but also to be able to create media in a variety of forms. In an article written by Trilling and Fadel about 21st Century Skills, they suggest that media literacy consists of having two skills: the ability to analyze media, including comprehending how and why media messages are constructed and examining how media can affect our behaviors and second is the skill of creating media products, such as how to use appropriate media tools (Trilling & Fadel, 2012). In other words, to be media literate is to have the ability to think for oneself and ask the right  questions.  In the interview with Julie Smith this week, she shared her views on media literacy and she suggested asking questions such as who the sender is, what is their mode of intent, who does this profit, and who the target audience is(Smith, 2020). By asking the right questions, we can confirm the accuracy of the information and then make our own judgements about its accuracy.

 It is apparent that being media literate is becoming more and more important as our lives revolve around technology. The internet has given people the ability to use social media platforms and websites to share information or spread awareness about certain issues. However, this doesn’t always mean that the information is factual. People can deliberately fabricate information to mislead the public and so it is important that we have the skills to be able to distinguish right from wrong. “Because of the speed of access to information, people do not have time to process and to validate the kind of information they receive, so there are a lot of biases that interfere”(Owens, 2020). The information that is on social media produced by individuals that we may like, trust or that we may directly know, should not give them more credibility, BUT we think it does. “In the 21st century, everyone’s level of information literacy and fluency will need to rise. Whether at work, in school, at home, or in the community, there will be increasing demands on our ability to access information efficiently and effectively, evaluate information critically and competently, and use information accurately and creatively”(Trilling & Fadel, 2012). The goal of media literacy education is not to become amateur producers but rather to engage the media in our lives, to evaluate its messages and techniques and then to choose, ultimately, whether to accept or reject the values conveyed. Attention to media literacy is essential more than ever as we are consuming media all the time.

Why can Media Literacy sometimes be dismissed?

In my opinion, media literacy is dismissed because people don’t really know what it is or how important it is. I also think some people steer away from it because it can be time consuming to fact check etc. When it comes to our parents, they grew up without the same internet access that is available to us. Technology has changed the way we do everything and this can cause parents to worry about their safety. For example, when it comes to my parents, sometimes they don’t want to know what they don’t know. I am not sure if this makes sense but if you bury your head in the sand, you don’t have much to worry about.

Why Should We Aim For Varied views but the factual consensus in your PLN?

We should aim for varied views but factual consensus in our PLN’s to ensure that we continue to learn from others thoughts and opinions. Being open minded and learning to accept various viewpoints and different perspectives, can trigger new ideas and make our PLN more diversified. As Julie Smith states, “news is a business and we as people like to be affirmed, so we choose media outlets that suit our perspectives and opinions. When we selectively choose certain outlets to obtain ‘news’ from, we often cheat ourselves from learning all the facts”(Smith, 2020). Sometimes we may not know all of the story so when you can come to a consensus that all the facts and perspectives have been analyzed effectively, then you can be reassured that the whole story has been told.

Why can Media literacy and factual information can create conflict?

 Conflict can arise in media literacy and factual information because some individuals may be so determined about their own point of view they won’t take the responsibility to understand the other side. Smith explains that one reason media literacy can create conflict is a “familiarity backfire” effect (2020). This means that sometimes people will ignore what they don’t want to hear. In the past, we have been limited to certain media sources and we didn’t have as much freedom in choosing who to listen to, but now we have thousands of media sources at the click of a button. As humans, we don’t like to be told we are wrong. We tend to seek out information that justifies our opinions. Because of this, people tend to look at only like minded media sources.

What is the benefits of having a PLN that values media literacy?

Some of the benefits of having a PLN that values media literacy is that it encourages critical thinking, it allows me to see differing points of view, it encourages sharing of media sources in a collaborative and responsible way, it gives me the skills to know how to create my own content, it encourages me to actively participate in public affairs as a citizen, and it fosters the skills to communicate in a respectful way.


EDCI 338 (2020, Nov 1). Smith, Julie . Retrieved from YouTube,

Trilling, B., & Fadel, C. (2012). Digital Literacy Skills. In 21st century skills: Learning for life in our times. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Blog Post #8 PLN and Education

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How does a PLN give power to messaging for an individual or community?

The video with Jessie and Brad Barker provided god examples of how a PLN can give power to messaging for an individual or a community. In Barker’s case, he uses social media to not only share his own story but his family’s as well. He is able to use twitter to engage in healthy and respectful dialogue, one where he can share information from his own experiences and not second hand. This ensures that the correct story will be shared to the community. For example, there is so much information about indigenous people and reconciliation and it is important that true stores are shared so people have a better understanding of their culture. When Barker said, “For change to happen, people must be willing to be vulnerable”(Barker), I couldn’t help but feel this relates to everything in life and being vulnerable is a scary thing.

How does social media help expand education beyond the classroom?

In the past, students have relied on the knowledge the teacher had in a variety of subjects. In today’s learning environment and with the use of social media, the, teachers are no longer the only source of information. The internet and social media have provided  easy access to unlimited information and this has changed the role of the teacher from teacher-led to student-led. Brad Barker would agree that for change to happen, it is important that teachers use social media as an educational ally where it can be used to help instruction, and personalize learning. Advances in technology have also made it relatively easy for students to bring digital technology with them when they leave the classroom, or for instructors to bring the outdoor learning environment into the classroom. For example, teachers can use drone footage, mobile apps, and programs like Google Earth to bring outdoor environments inside the classroom, thus bringing far away or inaccessible outdoor experiences to all students.

What is the role of social media in education?

Many teachers are on social media both for personal and professional use and, for the most part, that’s great. From a professional standpoint it can enhance your network of contacts, engage you in important discussions, extend your own learning and even provide a platform for class projects. As for personal use, well, educators have lives, families, friends and interests just like everyone else so, naturally, many are drawn to social networking as a way to connect to the people they care about. Social media can be an effective tool to facilitate learning through increased collaboration, and communication. Social media can also provide a way for teachers and students to become more interactive. The use of social media in education provides students with the ability to get more useful information, to connect with learning groups and other educational systems that make education convenient. Learning networks are based on the theory of connectivism, which implies that learning relies on communicating ideas with others.  In the article, “Developing Personal Learning Networks for Open and Social Learning”,  educators are referred to as “Connectivists who recognize the influences that emerging technologies have on human cognition, and theorize that technology is reshaping the ways that humans create, store, and distribute knowledge”(Veletsianos, 2010 ).  As a University student, social media allows us to communicate with each other at convenient times. For example, our EDCI groups use platforms via their smartphone, tablet or computer to collaborate, ask questions, and meet on zoom to work on group projects etc. If anyone of us is not sure of something, we can communicate with others to find the answer. This is especially helpful in our current situation as we are not able to meet our teacher physically. Social media also promotes learning by offering support with sharing documents as well such as via Google Drive Box, and Google Docs. Teachers can also use social media tools to give lectures, interview guest speakers hand out assignments and give tests all on Brightspace or Google classroom.

How does the use of PLN raise awareness opportunities in education?

Creating public awareness through education is a great way to bring a certain issue to the attention of a group of people. Social media has given us new channels to raise awareness and spread educational messages not only throughout the school community but throughout the world. For example, principals or administrators can find a new way to integrate social media. Like sharing school news via social networks, holding online meeting with the parents or even starting fundraising for different projects. Schools can use their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds, to keep students, parents and the school community updated on school-related activities, and events that are happening.  Another example is that students can get involved in social marketing campaigns that aim to change behavior.

What are some problems with social media communications in education settings?

Social media services and apps can also be used as educational tools, but there are important issues to consider including privacy, appropriate content, security and your comfort level with the apps and services. There are problems with with social media communications in education settings for both educators and students. Many teachers are on social media both for personal and professional use and, for the most part, that’s great. From a professional standpoint it can enhance your network of contacts, engage you in important discussions, extend your own learning and even provide a platform for class projects. As for personal use, well, teachers have lives, families, friends and interests just like everyone else so, naturally, many are drawn to social networking as a way to connect to the people they care about. But teachers also have responsibilities and concerns that could, perhaps, cause them to think twice about how they use social media. What is appropriate to post? Who should you interact with? Should you “friend,” follow or make your posts accessible to your students? How about parents and colleagues? Are there certain types of posts to avoid? And how can you control who has access to what you post? For students, social media allows people to remain anonymous and say what ever they want to without worrying about being held accountable. This sense of “no one knows it’s me” can lead to cyberbullying and a negative school environment.


Miller, J. (2021). “EDCI 338 – BRAD BAKER.” YouTube, uploaded by Miller, 04 Mar. 2021,

Veletsianos, G. (2010). Emerging Technologies in Distance Education. AU Press. Ch.6. pp. 114-15, and 128–138.

Blog Post #7 Balancing PLN & Public Discourse

Social media and broadcasting has changed drastically over the last 10-15 years and being in the public eye today means you have a much larger audience.   After watching Jessie’s interview with Jody Vance, there are some obvious benefits and risk associated with engaging with a public audience in a media space. When a person becomes a public figure or a person in a position of trust, I think it is very important that they know who they are and that they are committed to remaining true to themselves. When you are able to do this, Vance says, it is easy “to sell your own brand”. We can not argue the benefits that social media has provided people, it provides an opportunity to connect with each other and interact with each other on a global scale. However, it is important as media consumers, that we remember that media is created by individuals who make conscious and unconscious choices about what to include, what to leave out and how to present what is included. These decisions are based on their own point of view, which has been shaped by their opinions, assumptions and biases, as well as their experiences. Society instinctively views media sources as objective representations of reality and because of this, Vance reminds us that there is even more pressure on people in the media because what they say and do will have a much bigger impact on the public. Every piece of information that a public figure shares can affect their reputation and be crucial to gain credibility. This is another reason why information that is shared needs to be accurate and real.  The art of public relations, and the crucial role it plays in relaying information to the public eye resides on the ability to not just tell a story, but communicate a message that will leave a mark on whomever you are telling it to. When considering what you want your key messages to be, the first task is to make sure they are believable, credible, and justified. For your audience to trust and become influenced by whatever it is you are communicating to them, your message need to be supported by evidence, and delivered with concise and engaging language. From a public figure perspective, social media has provided anyone and everyone the opportunity to evaluate what you say. Vance believes that “even though social media complicates things but it can also be used to expose your strengths”.  You can connect with people who could benefit your career or give you insights on things you agree with or insights that lead you to change your view on the world. These experiences  may help you to gain credibility in the media industry. Vance shared that her reputation is built on what she has done in the media and how she has represented herself. This is a reflection of the benefit of growing our personal learning network. We can meet people a long our journey who could potentially become an integral part of our future. This is also a reason to be cautious in our actions. In my opinion, Vance is suggesting that you never know what turn your life will take so it is important to not burn bridges along the way. 

When employers encourage employees to build community with online tools that they provide, you may be asked to share something or respond to critique in a way that is professional and aligns with company values, but not necessarily personal values. It can be difficult to accept negative critiques or replies and not get defensive and react. When Vance was asked about how she deals with negative comments, she replied sarcastically “keep your DM”s open”. My interpretation of this is that she is able to respond directly to comments made to her on her personal platform more so than ones that are made publicly on her company’s social media. In today’s world, everything you say and do is judged. It is not possible to make everyone happy and it would be impossible to not be subjected to some form of criticism. That is why it is important to build a PLN that you can rely on. This is a benefit of working for a respected media company, knowing the information you are receiving is accurate and real. This makes you as a media source, much more reliable. Social media platforms directly associated with an employer is that the public can ensure that the accounts are verified, and the information put forward on those platforms come from a trusted source. 

When you have been in the media industry for a long time, you are considered to be a veteran. Veteran storytellers are often veteran for one of a few reasons: either they tell firsthand accounts of events, they have built a reputation for being truthful based on previous checks, or they are experts in the field. Sharing or posting information in relation to your own experience or the areas that you are familiar with will help you to minimize risk in sharing misinformation. Regardless, becoming a veteran doesn’t happen overnight. Vance talks about her experiences in what Martin Hirst calls a “gig economy”. Working in the media industry is not easy and it does not come with a lot of job security. The job has become even tougher for free lance journalists who are trying to break in to the industry today(Hirst, 2018). In my opinion, Vance was one of the lucky ones. Her persistence, hard work, timing, a trusted network and some good luck enabled her to become the successful person she is today. 


Hirst, M. (2018). Social Journalism and the Gig Economy. Navigating Social Journalism: A Handbook for Media Literacy and Citizen Journalism. Ch. 6.(pp. 142-143). New York, NY: Routledge.

Vance, J. (February 28, 2021). EDCI 338 – JODY VANCE. YouTube.

Blog Post #6 Community Engagement and PLN

Jessica Clark and Patricia Aufderheide(2013) suggest that until the internet came along, TV and newspapers were essential for information to be shared with the public. When the internet was created, social media became a way of life and even though  it may look different,  its purpose is to still educate and inform. Technological innovations have changed the way we learn about everything and communicate with everyone. Now, we not only use social media to connect with those we may be physically separated from, but we also use it to discover and connect with new people, thus creating more connections and our own online communities. In the last decade, social media has given individual users the ability to move from “being an anonymous part of a mass to being the center of the media picture”(Clark & Aufderheide, 2013).  Numerous diverse and inclusive communities have formed online because of social media. When a person becomes part of a community, they feel a sense of belonging. The wide range of social media platforms available allow individuals to connect in different ways, for different purposes, and with different people. For example, social media can now be used to engage in advocacy communications. This approach is used to influence specific audiences and use specific messages in order to deliver changes in policy or practice(Coulby, 2010).  Advocacy is all about influencing and persuading individuals and institutions to change and this will not happen unless you are able to communicate your ideas and proposals effectively. A perfect example of how social media can be used as a powerful tool to enable advocacy communications by spreading ideas ,facts, is the message from education activist, Markiel Simpson. Simpson, a member of the BC Community Alliance, stated that social media has helped him expand his PLN, and without it, he would not have made important connections with people who have helped him spread his message. Simpson uses a number of different social media platforms and online communities to fight the structural inequities created by anti-black racism in British Columbia. His tweets are largely focused on improving education and supporting other activists in the community. He shares lots of actionable stuff and he encourages everyone to join the movement to have Canadian Black history as part of the curriculum in BC. The use of social media has been valuable to his advocacy communications because it offers an opportunity to reach large numbers of people without spending large sums of money. Social media is a powerful force and can influence public opinion.  Policy makers and groups involved in political processes pay close attention to the press. By using social media, Simpson was able to gain the attention of Rob Fleming,  Minister of Education. Although media coverage can have an considerable benefits, it is important to remember that the use of the media also carries certain risks. If the media reports unfavorably on your issue or your organization, or if their reporting is inaccurate, the impact may be negative rather than positive.

I found the interview with Simpson and Miller helpful in order for me to gain a better understanding of how to use a variety of social media tools in order to promote and advocate for social change. These tools can enhance supporters’ advocacy engagement and can help sustain efforts in the midst of inevitable challenges. What is most impressive about Simpson is that he thinks a PLN should be an honest reflection of who you are as an individual and most importantly, the public should be able to trust you. This has given me incentive to expand my PLN and get involved in my community because a group of people no matter what their experiences, are more powerful than one voice. It is obvious to me that my PLN needs to expand in order for me to meet, learn, exchange information, and discuss solutions. Although I believe I am welcoming to those of differing backgrounds than me, I could do more to connect with my community. By challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone, I will have the opportunity to be part of something much larger. By sharing my personal beliefs, I could possibly change the beliefs of others, or I could engage in conversations within my learning network that could make me see things from a different perspective.

My personal learning network does amplify the views of others. I am always using social media to spread the word about initiatives and causes. For example, my basketball team uses our team Instagram and Twitter for “ Bell Let’s Talk Day”. We get behind this initiative to encourage Canadians and people around the world joined in to help create positive change for people living with mental health issues. The athletic department expects each varsity team to do their part in promoting these initiatives. In some cases, USport(governing body of university athletics)expects each University to fundraise for a specific cause. An example of this is “Shoot For The Cure”. In this specific case, each varsity basketball team in the country was required to participate. This affected each member of our team as we were asked to participate in little one minute video clips to spread awareness. The department then put these videos all together to make a stronger, more impactful message. It was also a way for the department to share information on how much money they raised for the cause. We have participated in this fundraiser each year that I have been on the team and I have seen a huge difference in how social media is being used to spread awareness. The hashtags and tweets etc. are important but I think the message spread more when influencers got on board. I think this goes without saying, but if you want the world to see things, you need people who are influential and have lots of followers. There can be negatives associated with using social media and influencers and commentators to help advertise. For example, if you are selling or promoting a product and someone who has a ton of followers comments something negatively, it can hurt you financially. Society tends to trust influential people and that’s why marketers use famous people to endorse their products. However, we don’t always recognize that these people are getting paid a lot of money to say what the company wants them to say. 


Clark, J., & Aufderheide, P. (2013). A New Vision for Public Media – Open, Dynamic, and Participatory. In J. Pooley, L. Taub-Pervizpour, & S. C. Jansen (Authors), Media and social justice (pp. 55-67). New York: Palgrave.

Coulby, H. (2010). Advocacy Communications-A Handbook for ANew Members. WaterAid, Communications Toolkit, Chapter 4 -Getting the Message Across.

Simpson, Markiel. “EDCI 338 – 2021 – 02 – 22 MARKIEL SIMPSON.”  22 Feb. 2021. doi:


Blog Post #5 PLN In Practice

If I wanted to engage in a social media campaign about a topic of my choice, it would be about building mental toughness in athletes. In order to use a PLN to help facilitate this, I would want to incorporate as many social media tools that I could so I had as much current information as possible. I would use social media to explore and join in as many different communities in relation to building mental toughness skills in athletes. I think the easiest way for me to engage in the short term would be to use hashtags, and follow Twitter accounts of sports psychologists, professional and amateur athletes, and life coaches. As Woods describes, “Twitter has become a key hub in the past few years for the learning and development community world-wide” and there are many ways of using Twitter to build a PLN effectively(Woods, 2013). I personally think there a number of social media sites that are a great way to learn about the latest news and breakthrough innovations. At the same time, social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram can be good places for me to ask questions to followers about their own experiences. If I could be creative and start blogging some my own content like we have done in EDCI 338, then I could start sharing my thoughts on things that I have read and some of the strategies that athletes have had success with. This could generate discussions and build connections to people who have the same interests as me. By following professional leaders in sport psychology, I could potentially meet new friends where thoughts and ideas could be shared and I could expand my audience by using and following hashtags. Using hashtags is a useful tool to make tweets easy to find. I am not sure others on social media would ever consider me a leader in mental toughness, but I could provide insight in a blog format for other USport athletes who are looking to gain valuable mental toughness skills and improve their individual performances. To help raise my profile in this particular situation, tagging Vikes athletics and individual programs at the University, would be a great start. 


Woods, Bianca. “Building your own PLN: seeking new insights and ideas? Expand your personal learning network.” T+D, vol. 67, no. 11, Nov. 2013, p. 70+. Gale OneFile: Business, Accessed 18 Feb. 2021.

Blog Post #4 Your PLN and Inclusion

How diverse is your existing PLN and are you learning from a variety of voices? 

I would consider my existing PLN to be diverse because of the different kinds of social media tools I use and from my athletic and educational experiences. Growing up playing basketball in the community and then becoming a varsity athlete has exposed me to many different coaches, teachers, trainers, managers, parents, teammates, administration, and fans of the sport. I have also met a lot of people in my 5 years at UVIc from various programs with very diverse backgrounds in terms of their ethnicities, field of study, age, gender and wide varieties of life experiences.  Using social media to connect with such a diverse group of individuals has provided me with opportunities to learn, share resources, and collaborate with peers who I may not have had the chance to connect with. Through diversity,  I have learned the importance of listening to people’s experiences and I have applied those learning experiences to my own life. I value the importance of listening much more than I  did when I first came to UVic. I have learned to share ideas and thoughts and even though it can sometimes be uncomfortable, I know it is important for others to learn as well. I am also a big believer in having a growth mindset. I have worked hard to move from a fixed mindset where I was afraid to make mistakes or fail and moved toward a mindset where making mistakes is a way to learn. I am the first one to acknowledge that knowing how to balance listening and sharing can be difficult. As far as being the loudest in the room, I am far from it. I like to observe, listen, and learn from a variety of perspectives before I feel comfortable to jump in. This is why I like the format of our EDCI class. I feel much more inclined to share ideas and experiences with a small group of people rather than an entire class. I am fortunate to be part of a group that is diverse with a wide range of interests, experiences, and stages of our lives. 

 Do you participate in a silo of information sharing (similar themes or wide-range of interests)?

After reading the article “The Social Media Silo Situation”, I had a better understanding of what a silo of information sharing meant.  I agree with the author that as humans, “We want life to be easy and simple and straightforward black and white”(Colunga, 2017) . It is much easier to share things that don’t make us uncomfortable and affect us in our everyday life. It is stressful when called upon to do so, the uncertainty can prevent us from wanting to be vulnerable. We won’t agree with everyone’s perspective, but when we can refrain from judgement, we demonstrate mutual respect and make social media a tool to foster community. 

How can you use a diverse PLN to broaden your views of inclusion?

 If we have diversity in our PLN’s, then we are fostering inclusion because we have more opportunities for discussion from a diverse group of people. To ensure my views on inclusion continue to grow, it is important that I recognize unconscious bias. It is inevitable that we will come across people who will have differing views and opinions than you on topics or issues. Their perspective may be so strong that they do not allow themselves to approach the situation from another perspective. To make sure that I am continually learning and growing from others, it is important that I acknowledge differing perspectives and try to understand where they are coming from.  As described by Moore and Schnellert, inclusion is not just a place and time (2017). This applies to me because with COVID, we are not sharing a physical space or talking in real time with each other.

What is the learning outcome of your PLN and how are you ensuring your exposure to diversity and inclusion?

The learning outcome of my PLN  is to have a growth mindset like I try to do in all my other classes. Discussing ideas and opinions with my classmates allows me to learn different perspectives. By actively listening and avoiding bias, I am ensuring diversity and inclusion in my PLN. 

How has your thinking about inclusion and PLN evolved after reviewing the videos and readings?

Finally, after reviewing the videos and readings about inclusion and PLN’s, I have a better understanding that  inclusion doesn’t have to refer to just a physical aspect, it can refer to a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group.  Different things and interests can make people express different opinions. How to understand and accept different viewpoints is the most important thing.  The readings and videos clarified the importance behind incorporating diversity into my PLN and made me think about looking at situations through a different lens. To move forward and evolve inclusion into the future, we need to look and learn from the past as well as challenging our present assumptions and bias.


Colunga, K. (2017). The Social Media Silo Situation. Viewpoint.

Moore, S. & Schnellert, L. (2017). One Without the Other : Stories of Unity Through Diversity and Inclusion, Portage & Main Press. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Moore S. (2018). The Evolution of Inclusion: The past and future of education. YouTube.

Blog Post #3 Personal Digital Identity vs Professional Digital Identity

What digital platforms are students currently using to develop their professional network?

Students have become dependent on using digital platforms such as LinkedIn, blogs, forum chats, and webpages to develop their professional networks. PLNs can exist on any social media platform, but I think Instagram and Twitter are the most commonly used tools for students who are trying to expand their PLNs. These platforms are popular among students to keep up to date on news and information from people, businesses, and organizations that they follow. As a Co-op student, the Cooperative Education department at UVic encourages all the students in the program to use LinkedIn for your professional presence, Facebook for personal use and a blended personal/professional Twitter. The department does not suggest using Instagram for networking purposes but I am not really sure what their reasoning is. I personally think younger students are using Instagram much more than Facebook to connect personally.  

 What can you (as a student) consider to expand your professional learning network?

As a student, starting my professional career is something that is in the near future. To expand my professional learning network, it would be beneficial for me to build and improve my LinkedIn account as it is my only professional account. I made my account last year and I have been able to connect with people who I know and start building my own community. I could start changing my personal twitter account and making it more professionally focussed. I am not sure how easy this may be but I would need to go through my tweets and retweets and determine if it would be appropriate for an employer to view. After looking at Twitter from a professional viewpoint, I quickly realized that it was much more professional based than I thought. For example, a specific hashtag for a presentation can be tweeted to others to see who else is attending. You can also connect with other professionals around the world on a daily basis by following trending hashtags and topics within your industry. I could also expand my PLN by creating or building a personal brand. This would involve identifying two or three of my strengths or passions and focus my public online presence on these themes. This could be done with a personal website, or portfolio. I don’t use Facebook very much as you can see on my VR map. It doesn’t seem as professionally driven as LinkedIn, and many of my peers don’t use it to communicate to each other. I have always considered Facebook to be more of a social network to connect with friends so you can follow them but may be not to communicate regularly with.  I know there are a few applications on Facebook that can be beneficial. I have recently started searching on Facebook Groups to find relevant groups that potentially could help me connect with professionals in a variety of industries to share helpful links, news, and material.

 In your network, how can you create a digital identity/reputation?

I have been using social media for many years now and as I reflect on my digital identity/reputation, I can’t help but see how I have changed/grown as a person. I also wasn’t aware of my digital footprint until I started university. When I was younger,  I shared information and pictures freely online and I wasn’t concerned with them being permanent. In fact, I was happy that information could be easily and quickly shared by others. Personal information like texts, video, photos, my name, address, phone number, sites I visited, comments and ratings on blogs and other sites, and what others post about me were not a concern. Now, I am constantly reminding myself to only post things that I would want an employer to see. As a member of the varsity basketball team, everything I post is also a reflection of our program. I am also aware that the Athletic department uses a number of digital platforms to advertise and if photos are used of myself, my personal accounts are usually tagged. This is another reason why it is  important to keep a close eye on your social media accounts to make sure that your account hasn’t been hacked and your reputation could be jeopardized. Additionally, I have also learned that you need to be who you are. There is no advantage to exaggerating the truth so having a profile picture that looks like you, and a bio that is honest, accurate, and presents you in a positive way is important so it doesn’t come back to bite you. After looking at my VR map, it is apparent that I am a digital resident. There are positives and negatives to this but I have come to realize that my digital identity is always evolving.  After taking a look at how I use platforms, it has become pretty clear that I should try and have two separate digital identities, professional and personal. I think if I try to combine the two, it would be difficult to prevent employers from seeing who I was 5-10 years ago. Having said that, if my personal and professional accounts were separate, I would have to know everything I could on privacy settings so my digital identity doesn’t blow up in my face!

Consider what a local employer would do if you applied for a job with them – can they search the content, is it of benefit to the career path, does it hinder the opportunity of employment?

If I applied for a job and an employer was interested in finding out more about me, it would be easy for them to find my social media accounts but more difficult to view. The digital platform that would be at the forefront would be my Instagram and Facebook accounts but both are private. However, my Instagram profile has a link to my UVic basketball bio.  If an employer were to search images, they would be able to view close to 100 photos of me playing basketball at various stages of my life. When I started looking through all these images, I noticed there were two profile pictures that came up from when I was in high school. These profile pics were used for an app that was trending at the time called askfm. If an employer were to view the two photos, it would not affect their decision to hire me but I will try to have them removed in the meantime. My twitter account is not an issue because I don’t really tweet my thoughts very often. I do retweet but never anything that could be considered offensive. It would be safe to assume that the jobs I will be applying for will have something to do in the field of recreation and health. An employer would see that I am physically active, educated, social, and I give back to the community.  These are all things that make me who I am and for this reason, I would hope they would not hesitate to consider me for future job opportunities.



“V&R Mapping.” David White, 13 Jan. 2020,

Wikipedia contributors. “Digital Visitor and Resident.” Wikipedia, 31 Dec. 2020,


Blog Post #2 Digital Identity

What Is A Digital Identity?

Digital identity can be defined as the online version of yourself and all your information and data specifically about you. Every interaction from what you’ve said, what others have said about you, where you’ve been, images you’re tagged in, personal information, social media profiles, and much more can be referred to as our digital footprint(Jawed, et al, 2019). Having said this, your digital identity can be personal or professional and both can differ from your real life identity. Social media allows people to post things so they can be seen how they want to be seen. For example, I have friends that are always posting their workouts on social media. For some, they are trying to portray someone who is active and physically fit when in truth, the workout lasted only 5 min.

 How Do Personal Versus Professional Approaches To Digital Identity Affect Social Media Use?

Your digital identity, personal or professional is complex and will affect how you use social media. Your personal digital identity affects your use of social media by focusing on your personal life and how you see yourself in society and how this was developed through social interaction. Your social media use will most likely be more for pleasure and you may be inclined to post pictures of what you do in your leisure time. You may feel more comfortable reaching out to people and connecting on a personal basis and sharing information more freely. This differs from your professional identity because your professional identity refers to who you are in your professional career. Your approach to social media use may be more serious and you may spend more time deciding what is appropriate to post. You may look at a picture and think about how other people may perceive you as a person before you post it. Another example of how your professional digital identity may affect your social media use is that you may only post things that are applicable to your profession. If you were a teacher, your professional identity may only be based on educational content and the things you post will most likely interest others with the same interests.

How Do Digital Identities Converge In Networked Publics – What Are The Impacts and/or Benefits?

Networked publics allow people to gather for social, cultural, and civic purposes and they help people connect with a world beyond their close friends and family(Boyd, 2010). On these networked publics, our personal and professional digital identities can sometimes converge. It used to be much easier to keep our professional and personal digital identities separate, but this is becoming harder and harder to do. For example, an individual may use their same Facebook account to talk to family and friends about personal matters as they do to connect with colleagues about their work. It is entirely possible in this situation that the person’s family members or friends might view work conversations and vice versa. Thus the boundaries between the work and the home converge.  Another example of identities converging is when a company uses social media to find out interesting things about their employees’ personal lives so they can decide to hire them to work for their company. If an employer is able to gain a glimpse into who they are, then they would have a better idea if they fit into the company’s culture. This could be beneficial to a potential employee if they do not post inappropriate content on their social media accounts but it could also cost them the job!

The negative impact of our identities converging on networked publics can force people to create identities that aren’t authentic. We may post things based on who our audience may be or who we want it to be.  In Karl Spracklen’s book, “Identity making and Social Media”,  he describes how we interact online and how we may not be who we really portray who we are, “everybody in a given social network will be performing the role they think gives them the correct social identity in the right form of belonging”(Spracklen, 2015). This deception can also  play a part in your professional identity as making a good impression on your boss or your coworkers can be a focus for some. 

Can A Digital Wallet Provide Trust In Networked Publics?

Just how safe are digital wallets? For most consumers the ability to pay by mobile offers greater convenience than carrying a traditional wallet with multiple credit and debit cards. If you lose your wallet, any cash you had is gone and then you have to cancel all the cards you carry and get new ones.  It’s a different story if you have your information stored in a digital wallet app on your smartphone. Even if your phone is stolen or lost, it’s far more difficult to access your information. This is because phones give the owner the option to require a thumbprint or a facial scan to unlock their device. While it may be a pain to enter a code or scan your face every time you open your phone, a little prevention will go a long way.  Using a digital wallet is not without risks. To increase trust in your digital wallet, it is best to use apps like PayPal and Apple Pay where all your financial activity is encrypted. I use PayPal to pay for things online because I know that all my data is stored on a firewall-secured server that doesn’t have a direct connection to the internet. This is better than giving my credit card information to online websites. When I pay for something with Apple Pay, my credit card info is hidden in a randomly generated code. This means my credit card never appears on the merchant’s database for hackers to get a hold of.  I would be lying if I said I trust my digital wallet 100%. All I can do is take every step possible to prevent my information from being stolen. One last thing, never do financially sensitive or personal business on public wifi.  Public wifi is always vulnerable to hackers!  



boyd,danah. (2010).  “Social Network Sites as Networked Publics: Affordances, Dynamics, and Implications.” In Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites. pp. 39-58.

Jawed, Saira, et al. “Digital Professional Identity: Dear Internet! Who Am I?” Education for Health (Abingdon, England), vol. 32, no. 1, 2019, pp. 33–35., doi:10.4103/efh.EfH_232_17. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021. 

Spracklen K. (2015) Identity-Making and Social Media. In: Digital Leisure, the Internet and Popular Culture. Leisure Studies in a Global Era. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

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