I recently had the pleasure of attending the Open Education Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Not only was Open Ed my first academic conference I have attended, and was in my hometown, but the introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) was one of the things that drew me to the field of Educational Technology. All things considered, it was a pretty cool experience. I have to add that the people are truly what made Open Ed ‘1 5 such an amazing experience. The group of individuals that is in attendance at this event was one of the friendliest groups of academics I have ever had the pleasure of surrounding myself with.

I wanted to share some of my biggest takeaways from Open Ed.

Fresh Starts & Digital Identities

Here I find myself on a new blog, in a new space, and with a new digital identity. As a graduate student in an educational technology program, not having an online portfolio and presence would be outrageous. In fact, I’m going to get graded on this site for an introductory class to the program. Although I am no stranger to the digital sphere, or whatever [insert number here].0 we’re adding to the end of the word web to describe how connected we all are to each other and the internet, I am a stranger to the academic sphere of the web. Prior to creating this site, my digital identity has undergone ebbs and flows of personal, student, teacher, private, public and in between. I felt like my digital identity was fragmented in so many ways and like I was one person in this space and another in a separate space. Although there is nothing wrong with this, it felt like everywhere you looked there was a different version of ‘me’ on the internet. I felt the need to consolidate and patch together the fragments of my online presence. Although grateful for all of the spaces I have been privileged to participate in to varying degrees of formality and commitment, I look forward to merging all my previous digital identities into that of graduate student and future scholar. I’m excited about a new space in which to explore, share research, connect, and participate meaningfully in the world wide web community.