Today, as we live more and more of our lives in online spaces, we carry with us an “(e)dentity”, an electronic identity composed of the digital traces left behind as we participate in virtual worlds. Every time we upload a picture to a social networking site, create an avatar in an online game, blog or tweet about our life, or buy something online, we generate digital traces that, when examined, form our (e)dentity.

(E)dentity draws from multiple sources: newspapers, magazines, blog posts, online comics, and even Twitter feeds. Some are humorous, some serious, some playful, and some thought-provoking; all are meant to illustrate the multiplicity of voices participating in the ongoing conversation about online life and identity.

Along the way students will find research, invention, and composing prompts to help them join the conversation. Much like the readings provided in this book, the kinds of composing students will be asked to do move in many ways beyond traditional academic writing. They may be asked to write a blog post, analyze a series of Twitter “tweets,” create an avatar, examine a webcomic, or reflect on playing video games. As they continue through the text, they will add additional layers of understanding and meaning to their initial conception of (e)dentity, just as each time they participate in online spaces they add more layers to their online identity.


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Sample Syllabi

Sample Syllabus
Sample Syllabus with Additional Readings

Additional Readings

Vannevar Bush, "As We May Think"
Michael Wesch, “The Machine is Us/ing Us” (video)
Michael Wesch, “A Vision of Students Today” (video)
A Vision of 21st Century Teachers (video)
Malcolm Gladwell, “Six Degrees of Lois Wiesberg” (article from The New Yorker)
Nicholas Carr, “The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains” (article from Wired)
Mark Prensky, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Part I”
Mark Prensky, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part II: Do They Really Think Differently?”
Dan Fletcher, “How Facebook is Redefining Privacy”
Emily Nussbaum, “Say Everything”
Julian Dibbell, “The Life of the Chinese Gold Farmer”
Bill Keller, “The Twitter Trap”
Clive Thompson, “I’m So Totally, Digitally Close to You”
Mark Milian, “Privacy and the Web’s ‘Signal-to-Noise’ Ratio”
Lori Culwell, “Death and Twitter”
Sarah Schmelling, “Hamlet: Facebook News Feed Edition”
Matt Richtel, “Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction”
Christine Rosen, “Our Cell Phones, Ourselves”
Biz Stone, “On Twitter and Activism”
Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?


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