Blog 1: Come learn with me!

Come learn with me online.  I am participating in open education courses through OERu on learning in a digital age starting with LiDA101.  This blog is my personal learning environment (PLE) where I will document my learning journey. If you’ve never heard of a PLE, here is a short video about PLEs versus traditional online learning environments. PLEs are a core part of OERu courses and the open education structure.  Read on for some background information about me and why I am interested in these courses on learning in a digital age—and why I think the content should be added to educational curriculums at all levels.

My name is Justine. I’m a person with a lot of questions. They usually start with what, why, who, how, when, making me a constant journalist and collector of information who can be found talking with all kinds of people wherever I am. My desire to learn, understand, and help has taken me to some interesting places: Spending a year teaching English in Cuenca, Ecuador; and working with teenagers with disabilities and their families. I’ve also been employed as a government analyst, a professional development and careers advisor, and more recently, have become involved with civic technology events like GovHack, both as a participant and a co-organiser.

Access to the internet and technology has been a powerful tool for self-actualisation in my life.  When I was 14 years old, I wanted to learn to surf (waves not the internet) and nobody wanted to teach me.  After managing to get my hands on a surfboard and taking a few poundings in the water due to lack of skill and knowledge of surfing techniques, I took to google. And what did I find? I found free resources (diagrams, articles, videos) about reading weather maps and wave faces and surfing techniques that were created by professional surfing instructors in California, USA.  And so I would study online and then practise and practise until one day someone said, “hey, you’re a good surfer!”.

Surfing 2013
Me surfing at my local beach (2003)

In the early 2000s, I saw the internet as a positive place where I could find information from overseas experts for free and talk to like-minded people from all over the world.   This was before social media. Before all the noise and prolific creation of harmful digital communications that came with marketing, socialising, and dating moving online. Yes, there have always been people who have used internet-technologies to do harm to others—but less of us were online in the past, and we didn’t need to do things online to the extent we do now.

It’s 2018, and I have a lot of questions about life online, which now crosses the borders of countries, and the professional and personal sections of our lives. I would like to think of myself as a good citizen of New Zealand. I vote in elections, I obey the law, and I try to take care of the environment and support the betterment of the country. But am I a good digital citizen? 

What are my rights in my online life? What are the habits of a good citizen in a global and digital age?  Yes, I know there technically isn’t such a thing as digital citizenship, but what say there was? I’m intrigued by the idea. I think it could improve the quality of our online lives.  In an academic sense, I am referring to a  liberal construct of citizenship. An idea that citizens should have rights to human dignity and that all citizens should act in an enlightened way that protects their basic rights and those of others (Ronald, 1995).  It’s aspirational blue sky thinking at a time when the world-wide-web often seems like the Wild West: a place where people do, say and take whatever they want; and revenge is widely and maliciously sort.  I think we can all live a better online life. I am ready to reflect on, change, and improve my online behaviours — join me on this journey!  

My first learning task for Lida101 is starting this blog. Why? I’m starting it because my learning journey will be owned by me and centred around my interests, and I want to make it available for you all to see, unlike the gated online forums of traditional university-level courses. 

Share your experience making this blog (task one)

I have created and maintained a blog on WordPress before so it hasn’t been too hard.

Share a photo of yourself working on this course

The photo below shows me using my laptop while completing this task from my home. I have applied a vintage filter because I didn’t like the photo.

Me learning online (2018)


Share a tip(s) for people getting started on lida101

You don’t need to pay for a domain when you start your blog. On WordPress, you can get a free domain that ends in instead of paying for the .com version.

Add one widget to your blog

I chose to add the spam blocker counter widget because I am interested to know how many people are trying to spam me.


Beiner (editor), Ronald (1995). Theorizing Citizenship. J. G. A. Pocock, Michael Ignatieff. USA: State University of New York, Albany. pp. 29, 54. ISBN 0-7914-2335-2.

5 thoughts on “Blog 1: Come learn with me!

  1. Great blog post and I’m impressed – you are ahead of the game and clearly well versed in publishing online. Excellent example of how you used open online resources in learning how to surf illustrating how you used the Internet to acquire and improve “practical” skills. A brief note – we haven’t activated the LiDA101 blog harvester yet – just in case you’re wondering why your post doesn’t appear in the course feed. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Learning the ropes #lida101 – An Adventure in Lifelong Learning

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