Fracturing Identities

 The fragmented educator 2.0: Social nTHis week I read over a portion of a professor’s tenure packet and another article by Kimmons and Veletsianos (2014) entitled, “The fragmented educator 2.0: Social networking sites, acceptable identity fragments, and the identity constellation.”

Looking at the tenure packet was interesting because of the small amount of the document that was dedicated to a primary focus of his research agenda. This professor works primarily on open educational resources, and yet, it is not something that fits within the metrics that are an important part of the current academic schema. And yet, if you were to compare the impact of this professor to the impact of scholars who are active on Twitter and their blogs, it is important to realize where the bigger impact can be made. I don’t mean to be condescending to my professors. I’ve had so many amazing professors throughout my academic career, but there's a difference between the impact of those who are writing for those in an educational setting and those who are making it so that their resources are available to astute students worldwide.

And yet, none of those things are meaningful when it comes to their professional standing. When it comes to professionalism, it is still expected that teachers and students do not mix company and that teachers don’t really have lives outside of the department in which they work, and that is sometimes limited to the office in which they work.  And somehow, those professionals are expected to be able to converse with one another while maintaining their secret private lives. Those who are advocating for open resources are among the leaders in trying to break through those barriers, posting aobut hobbies, ideologies and more on their Twitter, Facebook and other social media profiles and blogs.

But again, these are professors who have earned their place in academia and put in the time to have the time to reach out and try to help others in this way.  Identity is very important and it isn’t a luxury most people can reimagine or create and cultivate as they go thro and try to resolve this fragmentation of their identity.


Comments

  1. I think that faculty do amazing work to get tenure. I like how you discuss the impact that open scholarship has and how these public forums allow for more sharing. And more work. While we are assessing what kinds of standards should be used in evaluation, such as quantitative or qualitative, perhaps we should recognize that the two might be in direct conflict with each other in the lives of real people who can't meet every cumulative benchmark of old systems and new. With open scholarship, I hope we all scholars to shift their platforms rather than adding three more juggling balls to the air.

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