Higher Education Institutions and Digital Identity: New Needs, New Skills?

Higher Education Institutions and Digital Identity: New Needs, New Skills?

Mónica Aresta (Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal), Carlos Santos (Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal), Luís Pedro (Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal) and António Moreira (Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1915-9.ch013

Abstract

This chapter addresses the concepts of social software, digital identity, learning, and education and how they feed into SAPO Campus, an institutionally supported Personal Learning Environment that provides its users with a high level of freedom in the use of Web 2.0 services. Depicted as a social media platform for Higher Education, the SAPO Campus project is described in its various facets, services, and relationships with other entities, making a case for user-generated content production and aggregation for use in Higher Education. It also debates the ever increasing demand for the inception of institutional tools that are especially designed to support the construction of the digital identities of its members, letting go of the stubborn molding features offered centrally – disregarding its user’s presence in communities and/or services that are outside its influence – but that still are at the core of each and every academia member’s digital life.
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Some Thoughts And Concerns

About Social Software

With the development of Web 2.0 tools, the Internet became a platform where content, rather than being transmitted and consumed, is created, shared and processed (Downes, 2005). This (r)evolution brought deep changes in the way individuals learn, share, communicate with each other and construct their own knowledge (Downes, 2005; Siemens, 2008; Greenhow et al, 2009).

By fostering the establishment of connections between individuals, the new participatory Web emphasizes the users contribution in creating and organizing information, an approach visible in the exchange of ideas, learning with and through peers and in the collaborative creation of new knowledge (Chatti et al, 2007).

In a context where social software tools reshape the traditional model of knowledge creation and transmission, the Web provides a space that allows learning and online presence to arch over many spaces, no longer limited and defined by institutions (Warburton, 2008; Santos, 2009).

The Web can then be seen as both a setting and a support for both formal and informal learning. Learners take responsibility for their own learning and information and knowledge appear as personal and distributed processes created trough social interaction (Tredinnick, 2006).

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