One of the cornerstones for individuals wanting to build sustainable lifelong learning strategies has been the promise of the ability to build an effective online identity, one that acts as a node or central place for building a digital persona and aggregating digital traces. This has mainly been explored via ePortfolios, Personal Learning Environments and Personal Aggregators, yet these tools and associated practices have not been fully implemented or accepted by the Vocational Education and Training community. Today it is virtually impossible to remain at the margins of digital life and the production of an online identity. New social software tools and services and lowered barriers to connectivity have driven fundamental changes in our relationship with the Internet where the democratisation of electronic content production means that individuals can now publish, comment on and tag material at negligible cost. The effect has been to massively increase the visibility of digital identities and shift their construction outside of the control of any one person: identity has become not only what one says about oneself, but also all that is said about one by others and also ones activity in any electronic exchange with both human and with intelligent agents. Increasing levels of fragmentation and disaggregation have a destabilising effect on our sense of agency - our ability to act with intent and awareness and motivate ourselves and others to work for social change and educational benefits.
Rhizome is a research and development project exploring the key social and technical elements that impact on the construction of online identities.
The objectives are to:
- Deepen understandings about the diverse range of tools that compose the online identity panorama of services and uses elaborating what can be carried out with existing tools;
- Foster the exchange of information and practices in terms of online identity management practices in educational contexts;
- Raise the levels of awareness regarding the digital identity challenges and threats with related educational contexts through a dedicated web space/repository;
- Explore scenarios for the future development and deployment of online identities in relation to lifelong learning;
- Provide individuals with an open source self-representation device that can be plugged into major Open Source blogs to help establish lifelong learning related transactions such as competency representation and competency validation, amongst others. This plug-in will also be presented for delivery and integration into the Wordpress.com blog hosting system;
- Disseminate the project results to the wider UK educational community and beyond.
Presently, you are in The Rhizome Project blog. If you want to know more about the project and follow our activities, please go to The Rhizome Universe.
The Rhizome Universe opens a windows to our project activities:
- Follow public activity and content creation about online identity in Identity Watch and Identity Blog Ghetto
- Find centralised public resources (bookmarks, texts, photos, videos) about Online Identity in Identity Resources
- Follow, via microblogging, regular updates on the status of the project in Rhizome Watch
- Browse and share the project outputs on Research Reports and Download Area
- Join in our organised events that involve cross cooperation and participation from the community: Events
- Read general information about the project in People and Contact