Leah MacDonald



November 23rd – November 29th

Reflect on your experience in the course, your development of PLN, your use of social media platforms and networked publics, share any changes in your perspective of social media in professional settings and personal use.

I have found EDCI 338 to be a very fascinating course. I think the biggest takeaway from this course is that a personalized learning network is important and influential in both a personal and professional way. The guest speakers that Jesse has brought in have been very interesting and are part of his personalized learning network. Realizing that his personalized learning network is being used for his profession has helped me to see that my personalized learning network could be beneficial in my career.I think that I had developed a PLN prior to this course, although I now have a better understanding of what that means and I was given the opportunity to create a new personalized learning network by interacting with my group, group 3.

It was very interesting completing the final assignment with group 3B, because I was able to hear other people’s perspectives on this course and the main takeaways that they had, which helped broaden my perspective. I think is a perfect example of what a personalized learning network is for. The use of my social media platforms and networked publics has not changed drastically as a result of this class. Although I feel that much of what I’m doing on these sites is now better understood. As a result of reading peers blog posts, I’m able to take precautions with security of networked publics and I have familiarized myself with privacy settings to ensure that my information and what I’m sharing is being viewed by the appropriate people.

I haven’t found that perspective on social media as a whole has changed as a result of this course, although now I have a better understanding of how to interact with people on social media, both in my personal life and in my professional life. Additionally, I have learned certain social standards that should be upheld in a PLN, and now I am able to better upholds those standards. I found that the interview with Sophie Lui was very interesting, when she was discussing how she uses Twitter to connect with her followers. It provided evidence that using your personalized learning network, or professional learning network in this case, is beneficial and can help you curate diverse connections and foster a sense of inclusiveness, for those who may not find that elsewhere in their life.

I think that the interview with Amber changed my perspective of a professional learning network because her sense of openness and accepting of others when she interacts with new people has led to her having quite a fulfilling career in various roles. It was interesting to see how that was brought upon by her professional learning network and connections that she had made within the workplace.I think that this ties in well with Chapter 16 of Digital Leader: Five Simple Keys to Success and Influence by Erik Qualman (2012). During this he discusses the importance of connection, especially amongst others. At one point, he states “Remember our connections only become currency when we actually reach out to others for assistance.” (Qualman, 2012). He further exemplifies this by saying that connections will be more willing to help you when we’ve already helped them in the past. He talks about how networking is challenging when you’re desperate to network and advises that networking should be done before there is a need to network. I think the main takeaway from this chapter is that by creating a personalized learning network early on in life, it can assist you down the road, both personally and professionally. I think this is prevalent in my life. When seeking advice from others I use connections that I have networked with in the past and these connections help me shape future decisions.

One notable change in my perspective of social media, in a personal way, is the discussion regarding media literacy. I found this topic to be one of the most fascinating throughout this course and it was not something I was familiar with prior to taking this course. When Julie Smith describes media literacy she explains that it is understanding where the information you’re consuming is coming from: who is posting it, who is profiting from it, what are their intentions, what are the motives of those people, and where is that information coming from originally. When using social media in my personal life now I have begun to recognize that lots of people are not media literate and they may be sharing information that is false or misleading. While that is not their intention, I think that they’re not recognizing that when sharing information, one should understand where that information is coming from and why that information or media has been created. I have found this also translates to my professional life as well. Currently I am working as a research assistant with a professor, and any of the information that we share has to be research based and clearly substantiated by references.

When reading peers blog posts I have found that prior to this course I was unaware of some of the security and privacy issues that using networked publics comes with. I am now able to be more careful about what information I’m sharing and with who. A good example of this was brought up during the final assignment. I recorded a podcast with my group. One group member described that she has set her social media platform to private, although at one point she googled her social media handle and found that her hairdresser had an image that was public, and it was displayed on Google Images, with her tagged in it. And as a result of this, someone viewing that could find the location where she gets her hair done. It is especially concerning if you’re not sharing that form that type of information with everybody, when she chooses to have her platform set to private and then people can still see some of her information publicly, it’s a little bit concerning. This was eye opening for me.

In Chapter 16 of Digital Leader: Five Simple Keys to Success and Influence by Erik Qualman (2012) he discusses connecting with people online and how it can lead to lasting relationships and empowerment for people. The section on how Facebook groups and Facebook phone books can help you connect with others is very interesting. I found that throughout that chapter, there was a lot of discussion on leadership and how influential it can be, especially in the digital world. Prior to reading this chapter I had not considered how leadership could be incorporated into your digital identity. I will consider this moving forward.

I think that following EDCI338, I will continue to use my personalized learning networks on LinkedIn, and Instagram to connect professionally and personally with others. I enjoyed connecting with group members throughout the duration of this course, and collaborating with them on the final assignment, and I look forward to hopefully connecting with them down the road at some point.



EDCI 338 (2020, Oct 21). A01 Lui, Sophie [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T4jOdKd12I&feature=youtu.be

EDCI 338 (2020, Nov 1). A01 Smith, Julie [Video file]. Retrieved from  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_T9RghwJlI&feature=youtu.be

EDCI 338 (2020, Nov 15). A01 Glauser, Amber [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiWaXNfnHAg&feature=youtu.be

Qualman, E. (2012). Chapter 16 Empower Others. In Digital leader: 5 simple keys to success and influence. McGraw-Hill.


November 16th – November 22nd

Our guest speaker this week is a technology healthcare professional who trained in nursing and now liaises with hospital groups across North America. Consider the themes of the interview (in conjunction with the development of social media platforms cited in the reading) to examine the benefits and drawbacks of a PLN that can evolve with your career path – explore with references:

If your PLN can be used to help professional development post-course?

I think that my PLN could be used to help professional development post-course (EDCI338) in some aspects. Based on the PLN that I have curated for this course, I feel that the connections made could assist with professional development down the road. The interests and priorities of my PLN for this course is extremely diverse, which leads me to believe that this would not be the first avenue I would explore for professional development down the road. This question enabled me to consider what resources I would use if I was seeking professional development opportunities post course (or even post university). I believe the first thing I would do is use the PLN I have curated specifically for professional development, which is LinkedIn. Fortunately, I am familiar with the site and have even worked a Co-op job that I found, applied for, and was offered, through LinkedIn. Following this experience, I have used LinkedIn to connect with professors, coworkers, and friends that share similar interests to me. The content that I see and share on LinkedIn is in alignment with my professional aspirations, therefore I would use this platform for professional development first. The use of LinkedIn is a part of the culture in which I inhabit, as described by Manlio Del Giudice (2013). This type of networking has shaped our new culture and has become an essential component of how we communicate. 

Can your PLN be relied on to open professional opportunities and on which platform does your emerging expertise get good exposure?

I think the PLN I have developed using LinkedIn would be a good resource to rely on to open professional opportunities. The PLN I have is health information oriented, and enables me to interact with people of similar interests. I found the conversation between Amber Glauser and Prof Miller to be very interesting as it focused on her profession as a nurse working with information systems, and this is the area of healthcare that I am studying. I am passionate about usability of user interfaces or systems, and improving them to reduce stress and improve performance when using technology. I feel that many of my connections on LinkedIn are interested in this as well, and if they are not, they seem to be interested in learning about it. I have been working with a professor on a research project regarding usability of lab test results, and she is a connection on LinkedIn. Should I be granted permission to publicize the work and research that I have been doing, I believe that having this on LinkedIn would open professional opportunities for me to expand my work within this field and open conversation with others. As described by Amber, she felt that having an open mind with regards to new people has helped her, and trying to investigate what they can teach her has been beneficial in advancing her career. Cultivating this perspective within my PLN is something I strive to do, which is why I feel that LinkedIn will provide professional opportunities. The topic of technology and health information recieves good exposure across a variety of platforms. Science and technology are progressing rapidly and the advances are impacting economic activity (Giudice, 2013). Because of this, conversations regarding technology are of interest to many, and therefore exposure is prevalent across a variety of platforms. I find that for my own professional development, LinkedIn proves to be the most effective platform.

Can you leverage your PLN in future endeavours?

I can leverage my PLN in future endeavours by following the advice of Kirschner & Neelan (2018) on how to effectively build and leverage my PLN. They describe four steps to leverage your PLN and articulate why it is important. The steps are 

  1. Determine your needs
  2. Find the right people for your needs
  3. Networking
  4. Leverage technologies 

These steps are a simplified explanation of what we have been doing in this course by investigating, creating, and reflecting on our PLN development. I feel that throughout school I have formulated what my interests and passions are, which can be described as my “needs.” Through the use of LinkedIn I have been able to both find people that meet my needs, and network with them appropriately. Networking has been discussed at length in previous blog posts, and my networking skills have developed as a result of this reflection. Leveraging technologies is a vital component of a PLN as they are indispensable, they tap into communities of interests to find sources of information, answers to questions, collaboration opportunities and more (Kirshner & Neelan, 2018). The development of information and communication technology has dramatically altered the way that society and the economy work (Giudice, 2013). Leveraging technologies is arguably the most important step in leveraging my PLN in future endeavours as it provides the means of communication and sharing of information in today’s society. This can be done by using more sites than just LinkedIn as my PLN, and connecting with others using personal social media to expand my PLN on other platforms.

With consideration to the reading and video interview, how do you ensure that you expand your PLN via social media platforms into spaces that may be outside of your comfort zone?

I ensure that I expand my PLN via social media platforms into spaces that are outside my comfort zone by partaking in conversation and commentary that is on topics that I am not familiar with. Through social media, I can ask questions and receive feedback from people with perspectives that differ from my own, and in turn these are often outside of my comfort zone. As described in a previous blog post concerning the media, people often only view what they want to see and do not consider the opposing perspective to carry as much weight. The discussion with Sophie Lui earlier in the semester describes this phenomenon. It is important to consider both sides of an argument and approach issues with a logical, open minded perspective. Learning about how the news operates and shares information has been important for me when expanding my PLN outside of my comfort zone. Especially when discussing using social media for this, media literacy is a vital component of consuming information. The discussion of media literacy with Julie Smith provides context for how information should be perceived when investigating differing perspectives. The sharing of information using social media differs from consuming information from peer reviewed articles that Amber Glauser describes. Amber states that she loves that we can use social media to further education through healthy dialogs from your personal perspective. She then goes on to describe where she gets some of the information that she converses about – most of which is peer reviewed scholarly articles. I like this perspective as it enforces media literacy and enables her to have a PLN that values this I imagine. Curating a PLN that values media literacy can help when getting outside of your comfort zone using social media  platforms to expand your PLN. This is something I am striving towards within my PLN and look forward to reflecting on the impact this has. 



Del Giudice M. (2014) From Information Society to Network Society: The Challenge. In: Social Media and Emerging Economies. SpringerBriefs in Business. Springer, Cham. https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/10.1007/978-3-319-02490-5_5

EDCI 338 (2020, Oct 21). A01 Lui, Sophie [Video file]. Retrieved from  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T4jOdKd12I&feature=youtu.be

EDCI 338 (2020, Nov 1). A01 Smith, Julie [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_T9RghwJlI&feature=youtu.be

EDCI 338 (2020, Nov 15). A01 Glauser, Amber [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiWaXNfnHAg&feature=youtu.be

Neelen, M., & Kirschner, P. A. (2018, September 03). How to effectively build and leverage a personal learning network (PLN). Retrieved November 20, 2020, from https://3starlearningexperiences.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/how-to-effectively-build-and-leverage-a-personal-learning-network-pln/


November 9th – November 15th

Community communications go beyond blogs and social media shares, how does a PLN help and hinder the development of thoughts and ideas in public discourse – especially when addressing our differences?

A PLN helps the development of thoughts and ideas in public discourse because it provides a platform for individuals to share their perspectives. It enables people to communicate their thoughts and ideas publicly with others. When addressing our differences, a PLN is helpful because it provides a network of resources to gain perspective on both sides of an issue. When a PLN that is factually accurate and values media literacy, it is likely that content is being shared that is unbiased and provides information on both sides of a debate. Harrison Mooney provides a good example of how a PLN can be helpful in the development of thoughts and ideas. He discusses how there are significant differences between authors of different races, and that when consuming media regarding racism, you should strongly consider your source (2020). His recommendation based on his own experience is that “it is crucial to be looking always for the smartest people writing and thinking about race and culture from a non white perspective. It turns out to inform you across disciplines.” (Mooney, 2020). When developing thoughts and ideas on matters that consider our differences, a PLN can be helpful to consider a range of perspectives. 

How can a PLN be curated to minimize bias and expand knowledge of the lives of others?

It is beneficial to curate a PLN that minimizes bias and expands knowledge of the lives of others because it provides you with new insights and perspectives on issues. Having a diverse, inclusive PLN can aid in curating a PLN that minimizes bias. This has been discussed in previous posts at length. An additional way to minimize bias and expand knowledge of the lives of others is to search for opposing or contradicting perspectives using your PLN. An example of this could be looking at hashtags on Twitter. As described in Chapter 4 of Social Media: Communication, Sharing and Visibility, during the UK election in 2015 the most popular hashtag was “#GE2015.” This hashtag was striking because when looking at the content containing this hashtag, it had contributions from all sides of the debate, it was a “keiladiscope of perspectives on the election,” (Meikle, 2016). Meikle infers that following #GE2015 throughout the day would be exposed to a more diverse perspective than they would from any preferred newspaper or TV channel. By using a hashtag such as this, you gain a new perspective, the content you see is not biased towards one side, and you learn about people’s personal experiences and opinions. 

How does the identity of who you are, fit into your PLN?

I think the identity of who you are fits into your PLN in a significant way, although at times I feel that it is not representative of who you are as a person. Your interests and perspectives are shared using a PLN, but there is an enormous amount of your identity that remains sheltered from public view. The content that you see and conversations that you engage in represents your identity within your PLN. It is a depiction of you as a person, whether it is accurate or not. Harrison Mooney recommended one person whose perspective he found to be very interesting on social media and in literature; Tressie McMillan Cottom. When researching her, I came across a set of her Tweets from 2014-2015 that describe her perspective on Twitter’s use of the “blue checkmark” as a status marker. I think this is an interesting thing to consider when discussing how your identity fits into your PLN. The blue checkmark symbolizes external status, and yet there is shock that people treat it as such (Cottom, 2015). If someone was to have a blue checkmark next to their twitter, it would indicate that they have a superior status to someone who does not have that symbol next to their name within that PLN. If the identity of who you are is reliant on your PLN or Twitter, this person would likely have a higher status in their life outside of their PLN as well. The blue check mark bestows a status or symbolized external status upon the person, although it takes no responsibility for the effect it has (Cottom, 2015). 


Do you include professional and personal boundaries?

I feel that I include professional and personal boundaries within my PLN because I am a firm believer that boundaries are of significant importance. A person that I admire very much is Brene Brown. She is a researcher, academic, and genuine person that has drastically changed my perspective on many issues. Throughout her books and on her podcast, she speaks at length about setting boundaries and explains why they are beneficial to put into place. She describes setting boundaries as “making clear what’s okay, and what’s not okay, and why” (Brown, 2018). I feel that her guidance has helped me set boundaries within my personal life and within my PLN. It is important to have both professional and personal boundaries, and they often do look different. An example of a professional boundary that I have set for myself is not checking work or school related sites (email, BrightSpaces etc.) after 8pm. This is so I am able to wind down at the end of the night and focus on myself and getting rest. A boundary that I set in my personal life is not checking my social media past 10pm. This is for the same reason that I set boundaries for work/school, although it looks different because it is personal rather than professional. 



“Chapter 4 Convergence and the Limits of Citizen Journalism.” Social Media Communication, Sharing and Visibility, by Graham Meikle, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2016, pp. 69–92.

Cottom, Tressie McMillan. “We Are Still Waiting? .” Twitter, Twitter, 17 Apr. 2020, twitter.com/tressiemcphd/status/1250981099846750209. 

Brown, Brene. DARE TO LEAD GLOSSARY KEY LANGUAGE, SKILLS, TOOLS, AND PRACTICES. 2018, daretolead.brenebrown.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Glossary-of-Key-Language-Skills-and-Tools-from-DTL.pdf. 

Miller, Jesse. “EDCI 338 A01 – HARRISON MOONEY.” Youtube, 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=elKNQpz0RrI&feature=youtu.be.


November 2nd – November 8th

Open dialogues about media literacy and factual information can create conflict, why does this happen?

Media is increasingly important as we shift our society into a very web-based lifestyle. COVID-19 has caused people to change how they interact with others, and in turn has changed how we receive information. There is a surplus of information, which makes it challenging to navigate, hard to determine what is legitimate, and can be stressful, as described by Julie Smith. Julie Smith has done extensive work within the field and has conducted research on media literacy. When she describes media literacy around the 5 minute mark of the assigned video, she states “[media literacy] is essentially asking questions about every message, who’s the sender, what’s their motive or intent, how is it created, who profits, what information is left out, who is the target audience etc.” (Smith, 2020). Media literacy could be described as media fluency, as Julie explains. Media literacy is important because it enables people to understand how and why media messages are constructed, identify if values and points of view are excluded, and examine how media can influence beliefs and behaviours (Trilling, 2012). 

Media literacy and factual information can create conflict because of the “familiarity backfire effect,” described by Julie (2020). This effect can be metaphorically described as having shields up, so that no information can get through. This may be due to the shift from “push” to “pull” type of news. In previous times, there were very few sources, and this information was “pushed” upon people (Smith, 2020). In our current society, there are countless sources for news, enabling us to pick and choose where we get our information. Inherently, people will choose sources that they agree with, and do not often see news they disagree with. News is a business, it operates in accordance to the demand. The information is being shared using a business mindset – they are sharing things that people WANT to see, rather than what they need to see (Smith, 2020). Factual information can create conflict because they rarely see news that they disagree with, and when they do, it is upsetting. Because of this, media literacy can oftentimes be dismissed. This makes sense because we live in a polarized society. The Conversation eloquently describes this phenomenon in their research. Their findings are that when people disagree with something, their brains become less sensitive to the strength of others opinions (2019). The reduced weight or perceived importance of others opinions causes people to feel as though they are correct in their beliefs. 

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

Having a PLN that values media literacy is beneficial because it leads to a community of trust. When members of the PLN value media literacy, they are sharing information that they have already analyzed, and asked the questions about. Therefore, the resources being shared are most likely trustworthy. Additionally, if a PLN values media literacy and something is shared that is not legitimate or requires more thought, other members can flag it through their own reading. Valuing media literacy enables varied views but factual consensus within your PLN. Sharing resources and media within your PLN is very valuable, as we have described throughout this course. When the value of media literacy is present within a PLN, it creates a community that is sharing legitimate information. When the information that is being shared is legitimate, there is a factual consensus amongst the community. Being able to analyze media and create media products in a media literate fashion allows members of the PLN to strive towards having a community that contains various perspectives while maintaining integrity. It adds another level to the relationship because not only is there a common interest, there is a common subject matter. By sharing things on a PLN, Julie identifies a benefit to this being that she gets wonderful feedback and ideas that she would not have received 20 years ago. It enables her to get advice and perspective on issues.



EDCI 338 (2020, Nov 1). A01 Smith, Julie [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_T9RghwJlI&feature=youtu.be

Pungente, John. “Canada’s Key Concepts of Media Literacy.” Canada’s Key Concepts of Media Literacy | Center for Media Literacy | Empowerment through Education | CML MediaLit Kit ™ |, 1999, www.medialit.org/reading-room/canadas-key-concepts-media-literacy

 The Conversation, et al. “Here’s What Happens in the Brain When We Disagree.” Neuroscience News, 28 Dec. 2019, neurosciencenews.com/neuroscience-disagree-15351/. 

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


October 26th – November 1st

Identify the risks and benefits of engaging with a public audience in a media space – what are the risks for a public figure or person in a position of trust (educator, lawyer, government official)?

There are many risks and benefits of engaging with a public audience in a media space, and with the world around us today it seems as though it has become exponentially more popular to be doing so. The benefits of engaging with a public audience within a media space include the ability to connect with others globally, sharing information, networking with others, and creating an identity for yourself through your engagement with the media of choice. Alongside many of the benefits that engagement with a public audience brings, there are numerous risks that should be strongly considered. I am somebody that chooses to keep most of my social media platforms private, and I do so for my safety. I do not want a large, unknown audience to the things I choose to share on social media. It scares me that strangers could potentially find out where you live or where you are at a specific time. I think that the conversation with Sophi Lui where she was discussing how phonebooks worked back in the day was very interesting (2020). Somebody would not be interacting with a public audience in a media space during those times. Another risk is that now, information about somebody can be found much quicker and very efficiently. As a person that is in a position of trust (such as an educator, lawyer, or government official) there are more risks that are different from a common citizen. This is because interacting with civilians as a person in a position of trust is oftentimes a large part of their profession. When these people have engagement with public audiences, their conversations are evaluated differently due to their line of work. Their mannerisms and viewpoints are considered differently than others, and often their reputation can suffer consequences as a result.

Further your thoughts by exploring how employers use social media policy to hire, terminate or suspend individuals who use social media inappropriately or contrary to employer expectations – how would you address negative replies and critiques reflective of your personal values and employer social media policy? Can you provide notable examples?

How do notable individuals use social media?

I feel that notable individuals (people that are in a position of trust or have a certain status) often use social media as a way of sharing their personal life with their followers. They are able to advocate for issues they feel need attention. Sharing their life with followers builds the followers trust in them, and oftentimes this trust is used to then promote products or services.W hen a well-known person shares anything, personal content, work-related, or product-related, third party groups will often manipulate the information one puts out to create a marketable headline (Hirst, 2019). This makes sense as many prominent figures have publicists that censor what is posted to social media. Those that subject themselves to the public audience of a large size should consider that their information will be used differently by different people. For example, as a woman, Sophie Lui has faced lots of criticism and received very negative feedback at times. This is as a result of her being in a position of trust and broadcasting information (the news) to a very wide public audience. Her comments have made me think that potentially women need to decide what they are comfortable with and be mindful that people will always have an opinion.

What are the benefits of being in the public eye and having a PLN? (career development in the public eye)

There are many benefits of being in the public eye and having a PLN that can help with career development. Sophie and Jesse discuss what social media means to her in terms of career development and use of social media in her personal life as well. Sophie comments that she uses Twitter to connect with people and engage with their comments more frequently than she would instagram. Using a PLN can be beneficial to career development, a site that this is prominent on is LinkedIn. I found a co-op position through the job search function on LinkedIn. The job was a drastic learning experience in my life, and because of the PLN I created on LinkedIn, I was able to have this. Having the public eye helps you stay relevant, connect with others, and have discussions about potential jobs. 

Building a community with online tools provided by the employer can be limiting, what are the perceived restrictions and benefits of having social media directly associated with employment? (verified accounts because of employment, accounts that are professional versus personal, hybrid accounts)

I think that Daniel Ku provides a very informative article on social media policy examples and what they mean from an employers perspective (2020). The perceived benefits of having a social media that is directly associated with employment is that it enables you to engage with people that are interested in you, and your line of work. This creates great opportunities for networking and sharing information with others. The limitations of using online tools provided by employers are the severity of mistakes, the “rules,” and the significant negative impact that opinions can have. An example of a limitation comes from Intel’s social media policy: “There is no room for bigotry, prejudice, misogyny, or hatred in our company or on our associated social media feeds.” (Ku, 2020). This statement infers that misusing social media through prejudice, misogyny, hatred, etc. could result in a loss of privilege or termination. Your actions are your responsibility, although they may affect many more people that one realizes. Using social media as a tool provided by an employer requires a lot of consideration and responsibility as it reflects both your character, and the business. 

Delivering information in a connected society requires verifiable resources, how does one build a PLN that can be consistently relied on?

I have been feeling very conflicted by the information that is shared online, I am quick to trust and oftentimes I do not try to find a resource to further my learning on the things I read. Humans by nature are trusting, hence why we believe what we see so to speak. This is changing, as described by Hirst (2019) as a crisis of declining trust factor. I feel that when building a PLN and delivering information using social media, it is important to provide references and credit where it is due. This also enables people to make sure the information you are sharing is accurate, and when they find it is, they start to trust you. As you continue to prove yourself as a reliable, valuable source of information, you develop a trusting relationship with your PLN. You trust your audience to read your posts and consider what you are saying when your opinion is involved. They trust you to provide accurate information and respectful opinions on matters where it is appropriate. This trusting relationship is how one can build a PLN that is consistently relied upon.

How do those, who are veteran storytellers, minimize risk in sharing misinformation?

Those who are veteran story tellers can at times stretch reality to better fit with their story. An example of this is movies that are telling a true story. While the storyline is the same, the people, surroundings, conversations, and even facial expressions, are fabricated. People that are veteran story tellers most liekly change the story from time to time to make it feel more interesting, engaging, or shocking. Minimizing the risk in sharing misinformation is important for these people as it can be detrimental. I feel that ensuring stories are based on fact when recounting a situation is important, and decreases the likelihood that things will be altered. An additional strategy is having somebody present who witnessed what happened, so they are able to correct any misinformation or fill any gaps in the story. 



EDCI 338 (2020, Oct 21). A01 Lui, Sophie [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T4jOdKd12I&feature=youtu.be

Hirst, M. (2019). The Political Economy of Fake News. In Navigating social journalism: A handbook for media literacy and citizen journalism (pp. 78-100). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ku, D. (2020, October 26). 5 Terrific Examples of Company Social Media Policies for Employees. Retrieved November 03, 2020, from https://www.postbeyond.com/blog/5-terrific-examples-of-company-social-media-policies-for-employees/


October 19th – October 25th

Explore how using technology can provide real time engagement and include answers to the following:

How does social media help engage in community-based communications?

Social media can help engage community based communications in many different ways. An excellent example of this is in the discussion between Professor Miller and Mike Russell. Mike discusses an occasion where a UVic student posted on reddit about “finding good weed,” and the response that the VicPD social media account had was entertaining, rather than disciplinary. This was a good way to engage others and begin a community based conversation, both on Reddit and through the news. The use of social media can engage participants form the community that would not otherwise be a part of the conversation. This is discussed in the chapter “A new vision for Public Media” when it states “People come in as participants and leave recognizing themselves as members of a public— a group of people commonly affected by an issue, whatever their differences about how to resolve it.” (Aufderheide & Clark, 2013). It enables people to become a part of something bigger and discuss various topics of interest. The use of social media in community based communications enables inclusivity and provides platforms to discuss issues with people that may not otherwise be a part of the conversation. 

How does social media challenge community-based communications?

Social media challenges community based communications in the sense that it can strip some of the face to face interactions that would traditionally be required for these conversations. Angie Kermer discusses how using an online platform to learn was different from how she would discuss this in real life. This challenge is consistent across professional, personal, and educational platforms. The language used when using social media to communicate within the community is different from the in person language that would be used. An interesting perspective on this is found in the podcast “The Happiness Lab” with Dr Laurie Santos. In the Episode 4: Mistakenly Seeking Solitude, she discusses the use of technology and the impacts it has on people’s happiness levels (Santos , 2019). This podcast opens the conversation of why humans attempt to automate systems that were previously done using human interaction to communicate, and are now using technology to omit the human component (such as the creation and use of an ATM) 

Within community engagement, are their extended rules from the employer that you should consider?

In community engagement, I feel that there are rules from employers that should be considered. This includes ensuring sensitive information is kept near by and not shared publicly, and respect for others is maintained through the style of communication used. Additionally, ensuring conversations that are personal are not done so using community engagement from a professional perspective. 

Are there cultural sensitivities that should be considered?

I think there are cultural sensitivities that should be considered when discussing community engagement. Mike Russell touches on some of the conversations that have arisen within the indigenous community and I feel this is an important topic to consider, especially within the legal system and school communities. Being mindful towards what is being discussed and ensuring that it is done in a respectful way is very important, especially in the sensitive times that we are presently in. This is conversed again in a guest lecture with Angie Kermer. She discusses her indigenous background and her work experience with the RCMP. Bringing in cultural values to policing and school systems is important, and this should be considered. Angie discusses how leadership is important when considering cultural sensitivities, and there is a need to integrate this more into school and policing systems. 

What should your PLN say about you as you communicate to the public via social media or communication tools?

I believe that your PLN should be reflective of your goals, values, and character when communicating via social media/other communication tools. Your Personalized Learning Network depicts your interests and what you’re passionate about. I think that it is important that it reflects your character, and the choices you make in how you participate in your PLN is important. I feel that my PLN within EDCI338 would say that I am relatively active and attempting to engage myself with other members. It has been challenging to communicate within this course specifically. I believe my PLN depicts my hard work and dedication to learning, and interests in psychology, usability, and systems design. As I communicate with my PLN both in this course, and outside of this course, I attempt to show my values and goals while maintaining mindfulness for others. 

What does it mean to balance your professional expectations and your personal beliefs in curating a PLN for the purpose of career development?

I think balancing professional expectations and personal beliefs when curating a PLN for the purpose of development means to tie in both personal and professional aspects into the PLN. As discussed above, one’s PLN is a reflection of their personal character and values. These values and interaction are going to be consistent with behaviour in professional PLN that is developed for career development. I think that Angie Kermer discussed this accurately when describing how at times, she felt very angry when people told her “you should maintain that connection because you might need it someday.” she felt this was offensive because she takes her personal connections with professional relationships seriously, and it is unfair to maintain a connection to “use” that person later on. Balancing professional expectations and personal beliefs is challenging as they may contradict at times, depending on the field of work and types of conversations that arise. The balance comes from ensuring your personal boundaries are not crossed, and that you feel validated as an individual. The professional expectations include rules on how one should conduct themselves in an appropriate manner to convey professionalism. To balance is to ensure both these components are recognized, and if needed, action is taken to ensure they are respected as well. 

What do you think you need to reflect on (in regards to your PLN or development of a PLN) to adapt evolving social media communication expectations as a community learns more about who you are?

I think you need to reflect on what you want to show others and how it affects their perception of you as a community gets to know you. Social media provides opportunities to share things with others, and I feel that prior to sharing, people should reflect on what they are sharing, and what it says about them as a person. As an individual, this reflection would likely result in some adaptation of social media communication expectations. Learning more about those in your community and how they are interacting with your social media presence can help shift what is said and how it is shared to ensure people feel respected and included.  



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.

EDCI 338 (2020, Oct 18). A01 Russell, M [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH_UiTWYYwU&feature=youtu.be

EDCI 338 (2020, Oct 18). A01 Kermer, A [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73KOxy_fMSM&feature=youtu.be

 Santos, L. (Producer). (2019, October 7). Mistakenly Seeking Solitude [Audio podcast]. https://www.happinesslab.fm/season-1-episodes/mistakenly-seeking-solitude



October 12th – October 18th

Explore how you would create a PLN prior to building a podcast on a topic of your choice. Please include an exploration of how would you emulate success stories in this space (podcasts that you’ve listened to or seen become noteworthy), and how would you use your PLN with the intent to expand your audience?

Personal Learning Networks provide an opportunity for people to connect with each other and share information that is of common interest. Creating a PLN prior to developing a podcast is a proactive strategy as it can provide differing perspectives on issues, introduce potential guest speakers, and give new information on topics that are of interest. Podcasting is an interesting method of sharing information, and I believe that many people are drawn to this form of media because it allows them to feel as though they are a part of a conversation. If I was creating a PLN prior to developing a podcast, I think it could take place over Twitter. Twitter is a good social media platform to use because as Bianca Woods says, “There are several different ways to use Twitter.” (2013) I have never considered developing a podcast because like many others, I do not enjoy listening to my own voice in recordings. If i was to develop a podcast, it would be on a topic that I find engaging and interesting; possibly something rooted in psychology or health sciences. I found the discussion between Professor Miller and Mo Amir very interesting because of Mo’s advice to choose a topic that is close to your heart and that is of significant interest. The discussion about putting content into the digital space was fascinating as I was unfamiliar with what goes into podcasting prior to the discussion. I think that Dr Brene Brown has created an excellent PLN prior to creating her podcast “Unlocking Us.” She has written numerous books, presented her research both in person and online, and has a massive social media following. Through the use of her social media, she is able to discuss and learn from her peers and she goes on to say this in her podcasts. She has a following of 812.8K followers on Twitter as of October 2020.  If I was going to create a podcast, I believe that interaction with others to discuss the issues prior to the creation of a podcast would be beneficial to the success and promotion of my podcast. This is emphasized again as a successful media to develop a PLN through the discussion between Professor Miller and Mo Amir when Mo identifies Twitter as  a site that allows him to directly connect with local journalists and media. The use of Twitter to expand my audience could be through interaction with these people to educate them on the podcast, discuss issues, and possibly recruit them as guest speakers.    

Additionally, explore some of the privacy/security concerns to consider when developing an audience on any social media platform? What are the concerns for individuals who become influential in a social space?

There are many privacy and security concerns when developing an audience on a social media platform. One of the most dangerous privacy concerns is the ability for people to find you on social media and potentially then locate you in real life. When people become influential on a social space, they run the risk of people finding them in person and harming them physically or emotionally. It can alter people’s perception of you in your personal life when you become influential and at times, I can imagine people close to you may use it to their advantage rather than having your best interest at heart. Security concerns for influential people include online hacking, obtaining highly sensitive personal information, and potentially identity crisis. It is important for those who become influential in a social space to be cautious about what information is being shared online. Additionally, all information that is shared online stays online. This is an important thing to remember for those who become influential because their information that they share on accident could be used against them in the future. 


EDCI 338. (October 10, 2020). EDCI 338 – A01 building a podcast [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyODAhviQyA

Brown, Brené. Twitter. (Oct. 2020), twitter.com/BreneBrown?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor. 

Woods, B. (2013). Building your own PLN: seeking new insights and ideas? Expand your personal learning network. T+D, 67(11). https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A348998538/ITBC?u=uvictoria&sid=ITBC&xid=9daf4a31


October 5th – October 11th

How diverse is your existing PLN?

My existing PLN is very diverse. We were assigned groups by our Professor, and he effectively curated a network that consists of a diverse group of individuals taking this class. I was born and raised in Calgary. Three of my group members are from various parts of China. One group member speaks French, and one is from Victoria. Our various backgrounds and upbringings allow us to present new ideas and perspectives on topics. In my personal life, I am actively working towards collaborating with more people outside of my close friend group. One area of my life that I am able to do this is in my work. I work part time at Lululemon and I have been exposed to a very diverse demographic through this opportunity.

In your PLN, are you learning from a variety of voices or are you the loudest in the room?

In my PLN I feel that I am constantly learning, both with regards to this course as well as in my own personal life. I do feel that I am able to actively contribute to share my learnings as well, although I am hopeful that I do not overshadow anybody when I am providing my perspective. I have been working on listening more and talking less, which has proved more difficult that I anticipated, although I continue to try!

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

Within my PLN in EDCI338 I feel that we have yet to have many active discussions on the course content, and we seem to have a very wide range of interests that may not coincide with one another. Group members are in a variety of programs within UVic and some of these are quite different – for example I am in Health Information Sciences, while some group members are in economics. While I am sure they are fascinated with their major, I have little interest in it because I find it confusing and do not enjoy doing math. I would argue that many of the group members are unaware of what Health Informatics is and therefore may not have any interest in my program. I look forward to actively participating in discussion with my PLN in the upcoming weeks.

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

There are various ways that I believe my PLN can be used to broaden my views of inclusion. The first is through reading others blog posts and understanding their perspective that I may not have previously considered. Having a group that is from different places, different genders, socioeconomic status’ and programs is of benefit in this situation. We are able to see many perspectives which encourage inclusion as all perspectives are welcome and respected. As described by Shelley Moore and Leyton Schnellert, inclusion is not just a place and time (2017). This is important to consider with my PLN because we are not sharing a physical space or real time with one another, it is asynchronous. Despite this, there is still the ability to encourage inclusion. 

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 discuss issues and perspectives on various topics provided by Professor Miller. My goal of using this is to be exposed to as many perspectives as possible. I am ensuring ym exposure to diversity and inclusion within this course through actively reading and responding to blog posts of others and trying to facilitate conversations with others in the chat room that we have. In my own life I have taken steps to ensure I am exposed to diversity and inclusion through working for Lululemon as they place a significant amount of emphasis on this (lululemon, 2020). 

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

My thinking about inclusion and diversity has evolved as a result of the materials provided in this week’s schedule. As I have no formal education in inclusion and diversity, I learned a lot about what it means to be inclusive and what diversity actually means. Somebody that was studying for example sociology may have prior (formal) knowledge on this topic. I feel that I am constantly learning and I am grateful for this eye opening experience. When reading One Without the Other: Stories of Unity Through Diversity and Inclusion (2017) I was surprised in the introduction when she showed images of what “Inclusion” looks like and then argued that it was not accurate. I had a similar experience to Shelley because I was confused initially. I think the discussion between Shelley and Jesse also provided some enlightenment as I would not have previously considered people that were oppressed when discussing inclusion. It is important to ensure that everybody is included and their ideas are being heard. Had I not listened to that discussion, I would not have considered that to be a significant aspect of inclusion.



Diversity & Inclusion at Work and in our Communities. (2020). Retrieved October 10, 2020, from https://shop.lululemon.com/story/inclusion-diversity-equity-action

Moore, S., & Schnellert, L. (2017). Introduction & Part 1: What Is Inclusion? Debunking the Myths. In One without the other: Stories of unity through diversity and inclusion (pp. 6-12). Winnipeg, Manitoba: Portage & Main Press


September 28th – October 4th

Please see my Visitor and Resident Map below!

Visitor and Resident Map

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

I believe that students are using numerous digital platforms to develop their professional network. As a student, I use LinkedIn as my primary platform to develop a professional network. The reason for this being that it is a platform that was created specifically for professionals, posting and discussing jobs, and providing information useful for the business world. Based on conversation and observation of other students, I believe that platforms that were created originally for social media purposes are now also being used to develop a professional network. Students are creating specific accounts with the intent of sharing their learning in school (for example, a friend of mine has created an instagram account for her recipes and to share her knowledge of nutrition. This is done in hopes that once she has built up enough followers, she will be able to use her social media platform as an asset for her future business). Another platform that students are currently using may be Twitter. This is the case because it provides an interactive interface in which people can connect with each other and with organizations using a variety of techniques, such as direct messaging, commenting on tweets, and tagging others when creating a tweet.

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

As a student I think that expanding my professional learning network is important, even more so as I approach graduation. Expanding my professional learning network could be done by connecting with my family friends on LinkedIn to gain a better understanding of their careers, and to seek advice/guidance from people with careers that I find interesting. Another way to expand my professional learning network is to interact with others digitally on a regular basis to build connections with those with similar interests. Following accounts that post information that is relevant and interesting to me in my professional career is beneficial and can further my learning on topics that I find engaging. 

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

I can create a digital identity or reputation by engaging with others and through what I chose to share/interact with. It is important when considering your digital footprint that your actions align with what you intend to have as your reputation. Interacting with content that is constructive, business related, and positive has been beneficial to my digital reputation. 

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?

A local employer would be able to see some of my digital platforms, although not all. I chose to keep much of my information private and therefore not searchable unless I was to grant them permission to follow/view my platforms. The platforms that I have that are public are representative of my professional experience, and I feel that this information would not hinder my employment opportunities. Having recently undergone an interview and received an offer of employment from an organization, I am very aware of what my digital footprint appears to be. The content that I have public is of benefit for my future career path and I intend to maintain that. 



“Digital Visitors and Residents” www.oclc.org. ©2020 OCLC [October 1, 2020] http://experimental.worldcat.org/vandrmapping/signIn.


September 20th – 26th

What is a digital identity?

 A digital identity is essentially one’s presence online as defined by Eric Stoller (2016). Someone’s digital identity is your footprint on the web, it is everything that you do on the web. It represents you, your actions, how you engage, how you treat others, and how you use digital tools. The digital footprint can provide a look into somebody’s life, you could infer a lot about somebody by looking at it. Your digital footprint is important to consider as it can be used as a “Pre-Interview” by organizations to see if you would be a good fit with the culture. It is important to manage your digital identity for this reason – amongst many other reasons.

How do personal versus professional approaches to digital identity affect social media use?

I feel that personal versus professional approaches to digital identity can influence how social media is used. The intent of use for social media platforms may be different depending on the context, and the platform. In some cases, one may create a social media platform that is exclusively for personal use. When using this platform, their digital identity would likely be quite different when compared to a platform created specifically for professional purposes. When creating a social media account with a professional intent, it is important to establish a good Digital Professional Identity (DPI). A DPI is defined as “professional identity that develops through internet‑based social interactions by utilizing online platforms and communication tools,” (Jawed et al., 2019). The professional identity will likely be much more conducive to a business environment, and will likely contain only posts/information that is relevant to one’s work/education. A personal approach to digital identity will be catered more towards a person’s interests outside of the professional setting, such as extracurriculars, hobbies, and passions. It could involve sharing one’s daily life, whereas a professional approach involves more of a professional presence.

How do digital identities converge in networked publics – what are the impacts and/or benefits?

A networked public is essentially the space that is created using networked technologies and the communities that are built using these technologies. In networked publics, personal and professional approaches to digital identity tend to converge. Social media is being used more frequently and is more influential than ever before. Because of this, it is challenging to separate one’s personal digital identity from their professional digital identity. It is important to recognize and address this as it can have negative effects. As described above, somebody’s digital footprint can be used as a “Pre-Interview,” for employers. Should inappropriate images be shared or negative/offensive wording be used, it may adversely affect whether you are selected for an interview. The benefit of converging digital identities is that it enables people who know you in a professional setting to feel that they have a personal connection to you. This could make you seem more trustworthy and benefit your professional practice. It is important to address that there should be healthy boundaries and a distinction between professional contacts and personal relationships when considering digital identity. Privacy may be impacted through someone’s digital identity, it is important to ensure safety is optimized (Davos, 2019).



Mahboob, U., Jawed, S., & Yasmeen, R. (2019). Digital professional identity: Dear internet! Who am I? Education for Health, 32(1), 33. doi:10.4103/efh.efh_232_17

Spracklen, K. (2015). Identity-making and social media. Digital Leisure, the Internet and Popular Culture, 94-112. doi:10.1057/9781137405876_6

University of Derby. (2016). Eric Stoller – What is digital identity? [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0RryRbJza0&feature=youtu.be 

World Economic Forum. (2019, February 5). Davos 2019 – Press conference the value of digital identity for the global economy and society [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=326&v=1-V7lyxrOmw&feature=emb_logo

« Older posts

© 2022 Leah MacDonald

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑