Establishing a digital presence

It's not being too harsh to suggest that in the scholarly field of Education has been slow off the mark when it comes to exploring new ways of working that falls under the now very large umbrella called e-Science. There is now a small but growing number of good role models in Education, leaving aside those invested in studying and promoting educational technology1. But for many Education academics, the digital is still peripheral to their thinking and practice2. Word processing, Google, email and perhaps bibliographic software about sums it up for the majority.

Learning to exploit the growing number of resources that are reshaping a lot of social science is important. You can begin to do this by establishing a digital presence3. It is also important in terms of establishing your public profile. Many of you may make use of FaceBook. We are simply suggesting that your academic profile can be given useful and immediate visibility, something that would be a lot slower if you relied solely on pre-digital networking modes of networking.

Having a digital presence is now a routine part of academic networking. What that presence is and how you make use of it, are decisions you will make progressively over time. Our use of the project support app called Slack is a simple illustration of how collaborative work across time and space can be now easily set up and supported.

Most of you will work in an organisation that gives you a digital presence on web pages labelled staff. This is not a terribly useful digital presence. Having a presence independent of your employing organisation matters4. LinkedIn is an example of a professional networking site, and you would be familiar with Facebook and other social media sites. In terms of you and academic practice, you need to be able to be located on sites like Academia and ResearchGate.

At this time there are three considerations:

There is a growing number of resources that can walk you through the ins and outs of establishing your digital presence. There is no real formula. But though it will take effort and time, the payoffs will be there.

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