Might your attitude towards the online environment in general be affecting your attitude towards teaching online? Think of phrases like ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrant’ and also consider ‘digital divide’. Do you identify more with natives or immigrants? Many people see the difference as being something which is defined by age – but is this necessarily the case? (Marc Prensky, the originator of the phrase ‘digital native’ changed his thinking between 2001 and 2011).
Consider the resources below – do you have an online identity? If you do, is it conscious (i.e. do you deliberately adopt a different persona online) or subconscious? Or do you have multiple identities for different purposes? If you do, are these more explicit online than any different identities you may adopt in face-to-face interactions?
Enacting Digital Identity (Cronin, 2012)
Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? (Krotoski, Guardian, 2012)
Future Identities (Government Office of Science, 2013)
What can your students pick up about you from how you interact online (through email, social media or online teaching tools)? Do you think their impressions would be more accurate than what they can tell from the shoes we wear, or the clothes we wear, or the photos we like to take? Who is you, the online individual?!