Blog 6

This course has taught me how to improve my PLN and the beauty and downsides of the social media world. Before this course, I thought that one’s PLN could only be enhanced by using certain professional websites or service that improves PLN. I never imagined that social media and other services can be used to enhance my PLN. I learned how to build an effective PLN by maintaining my profile, connecting my network, increasing my digital identity, incorporating greater inclusion, and understanding the relevance of privacy and security problems that may arise. The materials provided paved the way to learn the different aspects needed to develop a successful PLN. It gave me a lot of insights that I can use in the near future. The materials also discussed how social media could benefit the community and other individuals involved.

Moreover, one of the most important things I learned from the class was that I could utilize other sites like YouTube to enhance and promote my PLN, allowing me to engage with the community on a more profound and larger scale. My PLN is diverse; having been exposed to the different facets of life, exporting my PLN to the benefits of others is possible. All of the information I’ve gained in this course will be beneficial not just in my professional career but also in my private life.


Blog 5: Education and PLN

Explore the video provided and reflect on the themes of a PLN in a professional capacity – how does a PLN give power to messaging for an individual or community?

Though most people tend to think of PLNs as support systems for classroom teachers, all educators can benefit from sharing with and learning from others. Let us take, for example, the experience of Brad Baker when using social media to extend his teachings. He used social media to advocate for Indigenous education and its importance to the community; this helped him become a positive contributor to his community (Baker 5:25-5:30). Without social media and people like Brad Baker, all information will come from the mainstream media, which presents us only a part of the truth by making us believe it is the absolute truth.

Education occurs in so many environments beyond the classroom, how does social media help expand education and associated needed communications?

Teachers often encourage students to tackle self-learning lessons to develop the capacity of students further. An example of this is when educators support their pupils to engage in social media activities and other free and open content activities, such as blogging and social networking (Veletsiano). Self-learning activities such as these give the learner his/her freedom to write anything that he/she wants. Social media promotes a more accessible and democratic classroom rather than just a platform to learn outside the classroom.

Community communications go beyond blogs and social media shares, how does a PLN help and hinder the development of thoughts and ideas in education discourse?

Communication between persons who have the same information allows for various viewpoints, which aids in the growth of concepts and ideas. a PLN aids in the growth of concepts and ideas. However, privacy may stifle the development of ideas by making only untrustworthy material available for public participation. There are a lot of instances wherein the positive effects of a PLN outweigh the associated negative aspects.

How does the use of PLN raise awareness opportunities in education?

PLN enables students to obtain knowledge from a reliable source. This indicates that when students are exposed to more issues, they are more likely to solve them. PLN allows a learner to create their own network wherein they can exchange relevant and authentic information. It also promotes healthy dialogue, which aids in developing the learner’s mind (Baker 5:36). This will help support any learner with advocacies or ideas to amp the positive impact towards the community further.

What is the role of social media in education?

The use of social media in education allows students to obtain more valuable material, interact with learning groups, and access other instructional systems that make learning easier. It will enable the learner to receive more information by immersing themselves in the platform (Veletsianos). Social networking platforms provide students and educational institutions with several chances to improve learning techniques.

What are some problems with social media communications in education settings?

Teachers should not make presumptions about their students’ knowledge of social media. When developing activities, student competency must be considered. For example, they may be skilled at informal communication. Still, they may not completely grasp what it takes to critically analyze information, engage with the material, and present results in an academic setting. Some students are weak when tackling a new type of information, thus impeding with his/her education. That is when the teacher monitors the student to make sure he/she is right on track.


Veletsianos, George. “Developing Personal Learning Networks for Open and Social Learning.” Emerging Technologies in Distance Education, e-book, AU Press, 2010.

“EDCI 338 – BRAD BAKER.” YouTube, uploaded by Miller, 10 June. 2021,


Blog 4: Public PLN – Balancing PLN, Media Literacy, & Public Discourse

The internet has become very relevant to all the issues and happenings in today’s generation. It has helped and improved life overall, as people can now interact and socialize online without the inconvenience of meeting in person. 

How do notable individuals use social media?

Due to the internet’s considerable influence, many notable public figures have engaged on the Internet to interact with the people. Social media is a great space where they can easily approach people with convenience. 

Building community with online tools provided by the employer can be limiting, what are the perceived restrictions and benefits?

Because of social media, great opportunities such as job offerings and networking, in general, come to you in no time. This benefit is directly connected to employment, enabling an individual to have someone appreciate their skills and work. Yet, risks are still there as it is a platform where digital identities are shared with everyone. A few negative opinions could negatively impact the employer, which could affect the whole company. Therefore, it all comes down to the user’s responsibility for using these tools.

What is the benefit of having a PLN that values media literacy?

Having a PLN that values media literacy well could help improve one’s interaction and proper usage of the tool. Media literacy in the 21st century is an essential skill one must possess as it aids in analyzing and evaluating data that could build a better understanding of the role of media itself and enhance self-expression skills. 

What are the benefits of being in the public eye and having a PLN?

There is a noticeable development in both career and personal life with responsible social media usage. With PLN, there are more job opportunities as employers can look into your network and decide whether you are accepted for the job or not. Being in the public eye, on the other hand, lets you stay connected and relevant to the latest happenings and news, which could also affect one’s personal life.

Delivering information in a connected society requires verifiable resources, how to build a PLN to rely on?

The resources we find on the internet are hard to distinguish if they are a fact or a piece of fake information. However, by examining where the data is anchored and credited, it can be verified that the article is legitimate. It helps people realize that the information is accurate and can be therefore trusted. This builds a healthy relationship with trust with a PLN, where one can be reliable in sharing factual and appropriate information with others.

How do those, who are veteran storytellers, minimize risk in sharing misinformation?

Misinformation can hurt people, which makes it a fundamental issue to address in storytelling. Like history biographies, some authors are tempted to twist the story a little bit to make it enjoyable, which is wrong because it might cause trouble. Appropriate and factual information should be shared to avoiding adverse outcomes.

What is media literacy?

Generally described, media literacy can recognize different forms of media and the messages they deliver. Understanding these many types of information and being able to keep track of what is provided is crucial. In an ideal world, both perspectives of any debate or portrayal would be provided. We would be capable of making informed judgments given the information we get from the media; nevertheless, most media is created to impact you in one way or another.

Why is it important?

We must evaluate the source of information and ask ourselves what the individual’s goal is. This can help determine whether or not the source is trustworthy. It is vital to evaluate the site’s objective, just as it is while visiting a website.

Why is it potentially dismissed as valuable (fake news)?

News should always be factual. It is challenging to discover information that is entirely objective or solely factual. This proves how important and valuable a piece of authentic and legitimate news is. Media literacy is being dismissed since most people disregard the actual content and instead believe in influential ones. We may become more alert to bias by improving our digital media literacy and increasing our logical thinking abilities.

Why should you aim for varied views but a factual consensus in your PLN?

There is a constant exchange of ideas and knowledge within PLN, where one can have the opportunity to learn due to the variety of insights being shared. With good media literacy, PLN can aid in developing our capabilities to understand and evaluate information. These diverse viewpoints can help in the enhanced analysis of topics, which also promotes the betterment of PLN.


“EDCI 338 – MEDIA LITERACY with JULIE SMITH.” YouTube, uploaded by MILLER, 7 June 2021,  

Hirst, Martin. “The Political Economy of Fake News.” Navigating Social Journalism, 1st Edition, New York, Routledge, 2018, pp. 78–100,

“Jody Vance – Media Voices.” YouTube, uploaded by MILLER, 7 June 2021,

Trilling, Bernie, and Charles Fadel. 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times. 1st Edition, Wiley, 2009.


Blog 3: PLN, Inclusion, and Community Engagement

How does social media use in public discourse potentially challenge advocacy communications?

Social Media plays a significant role in the discussion of this matter. The success of Inclusion lies in the hand of public media and how they present Inclusion to the public. This issue was never a side matter to begin with; it was a top priority but is often overshadowed due to the less critical case without realizing how Inclusion can significantly benefit both the public interest and the stakeholders. Nowadays, the number of digital users is more in number compared to the past generations, with more mediums to connect (Clark and Aufderheide). That is the reason why Inclusion should be considered when developing new policies in digital media.

How diverse is your existing PLN?

My PLN is currently quite varied, but I would like to expand it and gain more experience dealing with inclusive education. From the start, I have constantly been diversifying my learning network. “You are the expert of your own experience” (Simpsons, 2021, 10:58 – 11:01). Education is an aspect of growth, but I believe that experience is far more essential and needed. We all have similar education due to the standardized teaching method, but we all have different experiences that differentiate us from others in many ways. Moreover, in terms of digital media, diversity is evident from my subscriptions to YouTube. I follow content creators based on their content and not based on their names. 

In your PLN, are you learning from a variety of voices?

I believe I am learning from various voices; I always make sure that the information registered in my brain is correct and free of any negativity. As I have said in my YouTube subscriptions, I make sure I follow content creators based on their content and value. Using this method, I am making sure that I get to compare and contrast the information and weigh out which is the best. This will also help me stay up to date with issues and development about Inclusion.

How does social media engage in advocacy communications?

Social media is an excellent medium for advocacy communication. The development of the internet redesigned our world; when everyone is interconnected, a single piece of information can be easily transmitted across the globe (Clark and Aufderheide). Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, etc., these platforms can help spread advocacy throughout the world. A single hashtag can mean a difference when spreading out messages. 


Clark, Jessica, and Patricia Aufderheide. “Media and Social Justice.” A New Vision for Public Media: Open, Dynamic, and Participatory, 2011.

“EDCI 338 – 20 Minutes Moore.” YouTube, uploaded by Miller, 30 May 2021,


Blog 2: V&R Mapping & Digital Networks

What digital platforms are students currently using to develop their professional network?

Since the covid-19 pandemic last year, students have begun to use digital platforms to develop their professional networks.  The most frequently used is Zoom.  The video chat service provided by Zoom greatly facilitates the instructor’s teaching.  My Economic courses are all completed through Zoom.  There is also Brightspace used by UVIC students.  The instructor will post the materials needed for the course on it.  Some quizzes and assignments are submitted through brightspace.  EDCI 338 is an elective course of mine.  In this class, the instructor used the Mattermost platform to establish a class group.  The instructor and the students communicate in groups.  Also, LinkedIn, which I started using recently to find a job, is also a network platform that can help students develop professional networks.  You can get to know some people who belong to your professional direction through LinkedIn.  Keeping in touch with them will be very helpful for your employment.

What can you (as a student) consider to expand your professional learning network?

As a student, I think the most important thing to do to expand PLN is to learn.  All aspects and various professional studies.  The content that the current network can provide is very rich.  You can find a lot of your professional or non-professional content on platforms like Youtube, Instagram, Google, etc.  As long as it is something you are interested in, you can find and learn from them.  And you can get to know many people who have the same interests as you through the study of these contents.  You build your own social circle.  These social circles are very useful for expanding your professional learning network.

In your network, how can you create a digital identity/reputation?

Because of the development of the Internet, the audience of our online learning and social platforms is not just ourselves.  In your network, digital reputation is very important.  You must always remember that you are not the only one in your network.  So publish positive content as much as possible.  If you are publishing highly professional content, you must do enough research in advance.  If something is really unclear, we can actively discuss it with people on the Internet.

Consider what a local employer would do if you applied for a job with them – can they search the content, is it of benefit to the career path, does it hinder the opportunity of employment?

If I were an employer, I would definitely search for candidates on the Internet.  As long as you use the Internet platform, it is easy to find you on the Internet.  Whether the results found at this time are good for our career path or hindering employment opportunities, it all depends on the digital identity you create yourself.  The digital identity you create yourself represents the real yourself.  These must be richer than you during a few minutes of interview.  The employer understands you more deeply, and then makes a more accurate judgment: Are you really suitable for this position?


Blog 1: Personal Learning Network and Digital Identity

How we interact and communicate can affect and mold our future. In today’s world, a man regularly makes interactions with people, devices, and technology. This networking skill supports how an individual learns and grows. 

What is a Personal Learning Network?

A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a global, online world that enables users to create a vast pool of information while focusing on learning essential to an individual. Because new data and information are altering the globe at a much faster rate than it has ever been, PLNs are immensely beneficial. Collaboration is completely unrestricted here, allowing one to stand up and share expertise with educators, mentors, and the global community. Perspective is obtained by networking to enhance one’s field of expertise better.

How are we motivated to engage in networking?

Affected by the global pandemic, networking is now predominantly done online. Due to the underlying risks of going outside, there is enough motivation to interact with others on the internet, whether casual or professional networking. This idea of how the current networking technologies can create visual spaces similar to physical ones is called networked public. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Public Communication

Along with the current surge of COVID-19 cases, people’s motivation arises to engage in public communication. While it may benefit the general public with persuasion and additional entertainment and information, there are also risks attached to these advantages. One may get negative comments directly after trying to speak up, or worse, threats. Therefore, responsibility and knowledge should be significantly considered upon attempting to communicate and speak up to the world, which brings us to the next subject: digital identity.

What exactly is Digital Identity?

Whenever you like, react, comment, share, tweet, or post on social media, for example, it reflects who you are as an individual. A digital identity is the online collection of information about a person, organization, or technological gadget. A digital identity develops naturally due to the usage of personal data on the internet and the shadow information recorded by a person’s online activity.

How can it affect someone personally and professionally?

Social media has made lives open and transparent to the global network. Many of the things an individual does on social media are now considered by many employers nowadays as one of the benchmarks of being a potential employee of theirs. Some individuals had lowered their chances of gaining a job due to their content finding inappropriate or offensive. 

Digital Identities in Networked Publics

Many of the same roles as other forms of publics are served by networked publics: they allow individuals to meet for social, cultural, and civic purposes, and they help them interact with a world beyond their immediate friends and family. Individuals, governments, and companies all across the globe can benefit from digital identity by driving inclusive economic growth and creating significant value. This technology can help broaden networking overall and potentially improve not just the businesses all over the world but as well as addressing global issues.

Final Words

Networking is attached to every living individual around the world. With formed relationships and interactions from one’s Personal Learning Networks, changes may develop that improve life overall. However, just because it is known to help, it is also essential to note how it is also destructive, both for the individual and others. This brings us to a conclusion how security and safety in the digital identities of people and organizations are crucial. It may be the only way to prepare ourselves to face the future with bravery.


Boyd, Danah. “Networked Privacy.” Surveillance & Society, vol. 10, no. 3/4, 2012, pp. 348–50.

“Davos 2019 – Press Conference The Value of Digital Identity for the Global Economy and Society.” YouTube, uploaded by World Economic Forum, 6 Feb. 2019,

“Eric Stoller – What Is Digital Identity?” YouTube, uploaded by University of Derby, 25 Nov. 2016, 

FutureLearn. “What Is a Personal Learning Network (PLN)?” FutureLearn, 4 Feb. 2021,

Rajagopal, Kamakshi, et al. “Understanding Personal Learning Networks: Their Structure, Content and Networking Skills Needed to Optimally Use Them.” First Monday, 2011,




Hello, everyone!

My name is Ruofei Li but you can call me Monica. I am a student majoring in Economics and this is my last term at the University of Victoria. EDCI 338 is one of my elective courses. The reason why I choose this course is that I like using social media very much. So I want to try to set up a Blog of my own. I don’t have a specific direction yet. But I usually browse for fashion, photography and pets on social media. So I think I’ll be interested in those aspects.