A sociocultural perspective on negotiating digital identities in a community of learners

Peachey, Anna and Withnail, Greg (2013). A sociocultural perspective on negotiating digital identities in a community of learners. In: Warburton, Steve and Hatzipanagos, Stylianos eds. Digital Identity and Social Media. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, pp. 210–224.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-1915-9.ch015

URL: http://www.igi-global.com/book/digital-identity-so...

Abstract

Three dimensional virtual world environments are becoming an increasingly regular feature of the education landscape, providing the opportunity for richly graphical augmented and immersive learning activities. Those who participate in these experiences must mediate through an avatar, negotiating and managing the complexities of this new variation of digital identity alongside their more familiar identity as learner and/or teacher/facilitator. This chapter describes some key moments in the construction of our own digital identities as a lecturer and a student in the Open University’s community in Second LifeTM. We explore our experiences in relation to the impact of trust and consistency from a sociocultural perspective, privileging the role of social interaction and context where meaning is socially produced and situationally interpreted, concluding that social interaction is pivotal to any meaningful identity development that takes place. The chapter ends with thoughts for future issues surrounding digital identity in relation to lifelong learning.

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