Who Am I Online? Cultivating Students’ Digital Identity Practices
Citizenship, or the participation and engagement of individuals within communities, is a cornerstone of democratic society. In the 21st century, increasing access to, and the proliferation of, digital tools has allowed new forms of social, political, cultural, and global connectivity. This connectedness has given rise to new forms of community discourse, often defined collectively as digital citizenship. Discussions about digital citizenship are more prevalent in elementary and secondary classrooms, often emphasizing safety and privacy, but are no less important in higher education. Because digital citizenship is a broad topic, this chapter will emphasize a facet relevant to higher education: digital identity. It will explore strategies for using digital tools to encourage higher education students to contribute as digital citizens in their chosen professional fields. College, university, and other adult-learning educators are in a position to help students – whether digital natives or digital immigrants―understand and cultivate a digital professional identity.