Digital Authorship
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Digital Authorship

Identity & Lifeworlds in a Digital Age

Week 3 in #EDC534 Spring 2021

They say you never step in the same river twice, and that’s certainly the case with the topic of identity. I have been teaching about this concept for a very long time, and have experienced the ebbs and currents of scholarship related to this very complex phenomenon.

This spring, I have become fascinated with the concept of lifeworld diversity, a term that emerged from work by a range of academics in the area of media and children, who found that children participate in many different media activities in their homes. But the multimodal competencies and meaning-making actions that many children engage in may not align with the literacies of school and schooling. Is this gap shifting now that children are experiencing online learning as a result of the coronavirus pandemic?

Digital and media literacy, as John Potter has pointed out “imply a way of exploring and understanding learning and social practices in the digital age” (p. 387), centering their focus on the conjunction of making media as a literacy practice. When we create media, we inevitably “writes ourselves” into everything.

The collective intersubjectivity that we experience is what we call “social reality”

Approaching the topic of identity in relation to phenomenology is not new, but it’s new to me. We exist as individuals in socially-constructed environments, and teasing out the distinctions between “me,” “you,” and “we” are impossible. While the concept of identity is focused on the individual, the lifeworld is broader. It’s the background and context that creates meaningfulness. It’s a dynamic horizon that we live — and write — forward each day.

We’re thinking about screencasts, spoken word poetry, digital storytelling and video production. And we’re practicing the power of digital annotation to engage in collective reading. Check out the overview of our work for this week:


Potter, J.(2017) Framing the terms and conditions of digital life: new ways to view ‘known’ practices and digital/media literacy, Learning, Media and Technology, 42:4, 387–389, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2017.1397019



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