In a recent class I took at PSU with Dr. Michael Fischler, Social Behavior in a Diverse Society, I was touched by many new things I learned about people. But, one aspect that has returned to me many times was my understanding that it is a persons natural instinct to seek identity. There are many ways in which we identify ourselves; teacher, mother, artist. Those who feel a lack of identity, for example those students who struggle academically, are not successful in sports or other activities and maybe deal with a difficult home life will search for a way to identify themselves, even if negatively. They will work to save face.
I mention this because as I read through Siemens, Knowing Knowledge, this idea surfaced again. Consider his statement; "There is something rewarding about having an idea, owning it, being recognized for it. Even when we share, we attach identity to what we have created. In creating knowledge, we experience life, identity, hope. To contribute to the public space, to be recognized, to be a part of something bigger, these motivations drive us."
I feel strongly that as a teacher, community member, mother that it is my responsibility to help students find their identity. Who are they, what do they stand for, and how do they present themselves to others? Although spaces like Facebook and MySpace have caused a lot of controversy in schools and communities because of the way in which some children are presenting themselves, could it be that they are struggling to find their identity? If taught and supported couldn't these public spaces be a place for them to discover their positive identity? Why aren't we teaching children how to profile themselves positively, I believe they are looking for that guidance.