2. Digital Identity


Photo Credit: Alan Levine, “We Need More Interconnection Boxes” 

Reading & Review

During our first meetings–the evening lecture and morning workshop with Jim Groom–we heard a lot about the origins and aims of Domain of One’s Own.  Jim’s talk (which you can view here) was especially focused on sharing the intellectual roots of Domains as it emerged at UMW and in connection to the pedagogy of a specific course: DS106.  In our workshop with Jim the following day,  we got a closer look at how Domains actually work, including getting each faculty participant signed up for their own domain on bergbuilds, the Muhlenberg instance of DoOO.  But we haven’t yet had time to discuss together the philosophical underpinnings of DoOO.  We heard Jim Groom’s perspective, rooted in a movement he referred to as indie edtech, of Domains as an alternative to corporate edtech and the walled, templated garden of the LMS.  We haven’t yet had time together to discuss and respond to Jim’s talk, and about the underlying principles framing DoOO–including:

  • Student agency and control over their learning and data
  • Student data, privacy, and ownership
  • Notions of digital identity and digital literacy
  • The possibilities of reclaiming edtech for democratic purposes

Required Readings

  • Audrey Watters, Claim Your Domain and Own Your Online Presence (book distributed)

Everyone received a copy of Audrey’s book (if by chance you did not receive it, please let Lora know!).  In addition to this core text, we also want you to read Andrew Rikard’s piece. Andrew is a student at Davidson College and has established his own voice in conversations about Domain of One’s Own and digital identity in the liberal arts.  He has done this through his domain, writing publicly on the open web, and at conferences where he speaks frequently with faculty colleagues on Domain of One’s Own.  If you haven’t already, follow Audrey on Twitter and you’ll be able to see her weekly edtech roundups in the newsletter, Hack Education.

We also suggest you follow Andrew on Twitter.


We are going to read and annotate Andrew’s piece collaboratively using hypothes.is, an open, free platform for open collaborative annotation and discussion on the web.  Briefly, hypothes.is is:

an open platform for discussion on the web. It leverages annotation to enable sentence-level critique or note-taking on top of news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and more.

You can learn more about it and download it here: https://hypothes.is/.  And here is a “quick start teacher’s guide” for using hypothes.is, which runs on the Chrome browser as an extension that you will need to download.  Please follow this guide, sign up for hypothes.is, download and install the extension in Chrome.  If you have any difficulties, please contact Tim or Jordan for assistance.  You might also take a look at this video tutorial:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o3Yj3jNFN0 .

Join the Domains-FLC hypothes.is group here: https://hypothes.is/groups/2opPkKZq/domains-flc.  

Once you have signed in as a member of our hypothes.is group, join us in annotating Andrew’s article Do I Own My Own Domain if You Grade It.  Opening the link to the article in your Chrome browser, with hypothes.is extension installed, you should see something like this:


In preparation for our December 1 meeting, complete the readings and annotation assignment no later than November 28.

Alongside your readings, and prior to the December 1 meeting, if you have not yet decided on your domain name (e.g. yourname.bergbuilds.domains), please speak with Tim for suggestions and guidance getting your domain established or any other related concerns.

Suggested Reading

Zeynep Tufekci is a media sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She writes about the role of digital and social media, especially Twitter, in recent social and political movements.  In this piece, she’s looking closely at digital identity in the context of networked activism and an attention ecology. Another great person to follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/zeynep.

Bonnie Stewart is the coordinator of adult learning at the University of Prince Edward Island, an educator and researcher preoccupied with who we are online and how we learn online. In this piece, which was produced as part of a course, she provides some resources for thinking about digital identities as lived experiences as well as conceptual terrain.  We suggest following Bonnie on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bonstewart.