by Marianne Sato, Project Officer, Data, Digital Learning and Publishing, University of Queensland
Day 3 of the Championing the CAUL Digital Dexterity Framework Virtual Festival was all about Digital Identity and Data Literacy. We saw the good and the bad of digital identity and data.
Is your online activity a digital tattoo that you may come to regret and won’t be able to remove?
Terra Starbird (Digital Literacy Trainer) from Australian National University told us that “every single thing you do online is a digital tattoo.” This includes work emails, private emails, social media, searches and purchases. We were horrified to see just how much Google knows about our lives – our relatives, friends, locations we visited, illnesses we looked up and our “celebrity crushes.”
Big data is a threat!
Tools and apps can scrape all your online data and the data on your smartphone. Terra told us that corporations will pay to have employees’ online activity analysed to get an insight into behaviour, personality and intelligence. It can be “career ending.”
Terra asked, “As librarians, should we be about helping people stem that flow of information?” Should we share tips and tools to check online activity, clean up where possible, protect private information and search anonymously? If we raise awareness of the data risks, and the ways to combat it, we can help our clients to make the most of their digital identities.
Social media has the potential to provide amazing personal and work opportunities.
Kim Tairi, Kaitoha Puka (University Librarian) from Auckland University of Technology showed us the importance of social media for librarians to communicate, build relationships, develop professional circles and “lift up the profession.”
But it is not without risk!
Kim has chosen to be her authentic self rather than adopt a “brand” that shows an edited version. Kim explained that sometimes it has led to tears. Kim’s tips on making the most of social media include:
- Plan – think about your goals and values
- Stop and think
- Be true to yourself and it will evolve over time.
Kim’s recommendations of Twitter accounts to follow that lift up the profession:
Good use of data
Even though our data can be used in a way that threatens our privacy, there are also amazing, ethical uses of data. Data can be used to tell a story, visualise information and gain insights.
Masami Yamaguchi (Librarian), Brett Parker (Senior Programmer and Software Support Officer), and Amanda Miotto (Senior eResearch Analyst) from Griffith University introduced us to data storytelling. They teach researchers to “frame their ideas for their audience” using techniques and tools to create visualisations from their data and a narrative that leads to “memorable research.”
Charles Barnett (Library Business Partner, Design and Social Context) from RMIT University Library presented on the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Project to explore a visual representation of searching activities of the RMIT Community. It was a great example of engaging their community and filling digital capability gaps.
Clayton Bolitho (Research Outputs Data Advisor) from La Trobe University demonstrated Tableau Public, a tool to “help people see and understand data.” At LaTrobe it is used to analyse resource usage, open access publications and to help researchers measure their research’s attention, value and engagement. Clayton recommends trying Tableau to get a better understanding of data.
Bruce White (Open Access and Copyright Advisor) from Massey University explained the value in having coding skills to pull in data to provide rich insights. Bruce learned Python “through a literal accident” and became involved in the Council of New Zealand University Librarians Open Access Environmental Scan in early 2019, to write an extensive program to pull in data from predominantly open sources that gave the universities rich insights into their performance. Bruce recommends to “start simple and invest time to learn the basics.” Check out Bruce’s book – Spreadsheets for Librarians : Getting Results with Excel and Google Sheets.
All the sessions were about taking positive actions so there wasn’t actually any “ugly.” But special mention could go to:
• Big data being used in unethical ways
• Nemeses looking at your social media. Kim’s hot tip: You are being watched!