For me, digital leadership in higher education is being a role model in digital spaces, or as Sheninger (2019) refers to as exerting “social influence”. I mentioned in a Twitter/Instagram post, it is about demonstrating teamwork, value in collective knowledge, and appreciation for the ability to share ourselves with others in a unique way. This week, I had readings that specifically addressed the “relationship between the increased use and prevalence of social and digital technologies and increased opportunities for student learning” (Junco, 2014, as cited in Kolomitz & Cabellon, 2016, p. 47). This can be extended to address the current issues with remote education and facilitating community in the college experience. As digital leaders, we can promote digital communities as a way for our students to stay connected to campus, classmates, and programs rather than letting the community these spaces offer dissipate during remote semesters. This can mean integrating social media to our classes to liven lecture time as well as incorporate educating students about the various opportunities social platforms offer to stay connected while stay at home order are in place. I do not believe there is a great difference between leadership online for students versus educators. I believe they bring different things to the table though. For example, students lead online in terms of trends and platforms while educators provide guidance on critical thinking and engagement on trends and platforms. I do believe gaps exist in training, education, and development for both populations. For example, borrowing from Sheninger (2019), neither group is educated by the other on how to communicate or network on these platforms nor what personal branding looks like from physical spaces to digital ones. These populations can learn to maximize these spaces by working together.
In terms of my own leadership skills, my short-term plan is to continue curating my own personal brand and publish my website. I have my vision board ready for how often I will post to each platform, what content is most suitable for each platform, and how I will integrate my digital identity into my physical, “real world”, identity. I have already begun executing my Digital Purpose Action Plan. My Instagram has a few posts made to suit my athletic identity, my IG highlight reels have cover photos now, and I have begun documenting my bikini bodybuilding contest prep through IG stories and I also updated my YouTube channel, LinkedIn work history, Twitter bio, and some additional website/blog content. My goal now is to hold myself accountable to posting and being as intentional with my online presence as I am in my off-line life.
Shore, C. (2020). [Social Media Post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/CDO4DD1B21Q/?igshid=13qdmafsfcpoy (Links to an external site.)
Kolomitz, K., & Cabellon, E. T. (2016). A Strategic Necessity: Building Senior Leadership’s Fluency in Digital Technology. In E. Cabellon & J. Ahlquist (Eds.), Engaging the digital generation (New Directions for Student Services, No. 155, pp. 47-57). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Schininger, E. (2019). Pillars of Digital Leadership. International Center for Leadership in Education. Retrieved from http://www.leadered.com/pdf/LeadingintheDigitalAge_11.14.pdf