, , , , , , , , ,

Identity and interests

Everything factors into what shapes us and it defines our interests. Our passions (and weaknesses) of these interests are an integral part of our identity and this can direct our learning accordingly. Raised in a house filled with hockey, with Don Cherry’s Rock Em Sock Em Hockey on the television and free time spent on the ice or playing road hockey, I had an appreciation for the rink – my identity revolves around it… how I made sense of the world and utilized the learning within shaped me. Identity is interests, and interests drive learning. Dallas Thiessen is learning about how to build a natural playground, and it is evident his identity revolves around the interest/value of the natural environment its education when he expressed: “a playscape is not only a “place”for kids to play but it is also a place that is educational, innovative, and sustainable.” However, Dallas’ narrative is inferred through his blogs, and there’s a digital-trail and footprint to follow via social media. Where is/is there a digital footprint for my love of hockey? Or what does my digital-trail indicate about me? What messages or narrative do I send? Bonnie Stewart mentions humans are adaptable and vulnerable to the narratives in society and social media that we ingest and distribute, have I even composed a digital narrative? And when I do, how will my narrative adapt and change as I dig deeper into the digital ‘me’? As an educator, what do my students see? Alec Brownstein utilized the desire to view ourselves to get hired, hopefully I can observe and, if necessary, adapt mine to not get fired (I’m not actually worried, I’m clean).


My digital footprint: general
I googled ‘logan petlak’ and I found a bunch of my blog posts, pictures of me, my webpage, and some of my past successes! I even found a course outline for my environmental science 20 class which, after reading Amy Scuka’s article on Teachers Pay Teachers, I learned I could be making money off of rather than openly sharing.

logan petlak search page 1

Search: “Logan Petlak” via Google

My digital footprint: hockey
I googled ‘logan petlak hockey’ to check if that narrative snuck through… and it did! I made a video as a hockey interview that was a metaphor for my education learning when I was in my undergrad that came up (awesome/embarrassing). I also found my old recreational hockey statistics when I was playing for the “Beer Knights”… so there’s a possible negative narrative. It also highlights a specific game in which I took a “Delay of Game” penalty. Good for you past Logan, good for you.

kyle webb search screenshot

Search: ‘Kyle Webb’ via Google

Other educator’s digital footprints.
I tried to track down some of my colleagues such as Kyle Webb and Adam Scott Williams and I learned a very significant difference between them and I, their names have a lot more different narratives than mine. Kyle Webb apparently may have killed his father, and there are, no apparent pictures of him immediately found on Google images. Adam Scott Williams, I found nothing on until I edited my search to:’ “Adam Scott Williams” teacher’, I had to keep the quotations to keep him all together, or else I was finding a lot of information on the golfer, Adam Scott. Fortunately, when I googled another colleague, Amy Scuka, I found something more consistent with searching myself. The images were of her and many of the articles were of her – including grad dress shopping from back in the day! It’s nice to see information beyond the “educator narrative”!

adam scoott williams search

Search: ‘”Adam Scott Williams” Teacher’ via Google

So, why the difference between the search results? Logic denotes some names must be far more common, but one thing we all shared was either private or non-existent Facebook accounts. Do we have anything to hide? I doubt it, but it’s an interesting commentary on the desire to protect privacy on-line in a connected age. Have we all taken the steps to influence our digital footprint? We’ve changed privacy settings to manage our digital reputation, have we removed comments? Untagged photos? And have we moderated our digital footprints enough to even manipulate the search into a digital resume/portfolio in the pursuit of an education career? It broadcasts our images as educators, but is this a pseudo-identity that isn’t fully representative of who we are? Does it tell the narrative we’re proud of, but perhaps not the negative narratives worth learning? Students will search us, but will they believe what they find? Or desire to look deeper into our digital lives? I simply googled and tried to search on facebook individuals, what more could I have done?

Comments, thoughts, feedback? Drop it below, I’d love to hear it!

– Logan Petlak