This past Tuesday Sundi Richard and I jumped on twitter to talk about teaching Digital Citizenship in higher education. We had told some friends what we would be doing and invited them to join in if they were interested. You can see a storify of the chat here.

Some friends did stop by and I found the conversation to be rich. I left with more questions than answers and I always consider that to be a good thing. I’m going to unpack some of my thoughts from the chat in a second but right up front I wanted to mention that we will be continuing the conversation all day on Saturday. Yes an all day Twitter chat meaning that whenever the day starts and ends your time chime in. At 12pm EDT Sundi and I will jump into a sync conversation with some others.

So the chat started out at a slow pace. When Sundi and I did this a few months ago there were a few twitter chats that were basically just her and I with a few passing tweets from some others. This one was a fire storm in comparison to those.

Sundi kicked things off with a cool question “Where do citizenship and digital citizenship meet?”. As I’ve been thinking about this for the last year or so I’ve started to think of citizenship as the rules, customs, norms, etc. governing people living together in places. In the case of digital citizens I tend to start with people around questions surrounding digital identity. You have to be a person first before you can live in a place. You can spend a lot of time just dealing with digital identity but then yes that pesky point of place is not really going anywhere.

In the flesh people are born into environments and are shaped by those environments. You don’t get a lot of say about it you just wake up in the world one day pretty vulnerable and taking in what is surrounding you and using it to construct the way that you exist in the world. You might have an experience where you are able to step out of your local existence and reflect upon yourself and the world but you also might just get so emerged into that particular world that you never really see outside of it.

Is it that much different online?

I’ve been spending a lot of time in online communities over the last year and when the conversation came around to the idea of place I started thinking about communities as place. But the conversation between Chris Lott and Kate Bowles made me rethink that one

How does the community exist within the citizenry? How does a community identify itself? How does a digital community identify itself?

As Sundi and I decided to have this conversation online and in the open we felt a responsibility to explain what we were doing. I wanted to issue a disclaimer but I do use those a lot. As we decided to bring in other facilitators we figured we would let the community define itself by collaboratively co-creating a Community Statement. We threw out the idea during the twitter chat but no one really took hold of it. We could keep issuing the call, we could just start working on it the two of us but I don’t know – it doesn’t feel right to force it. And I’m not sure DigCiz is a community or a movement… maybe it is just a conversation.

So many questions running through my mind. I’m looking forward to this Saturday the 25th where I can parse some of them in the open, on the Internet, all day on twitter. Do stop by, the chat starts on Saturday – whatever that means in terms of your relation to the dance between the sun and the moon – and will “end” after the day is done. Well till next week when Hypervisible pulls us in to talk about privacy.

Data Visualization image via Daniel Lynds