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Social media are attractive technologies in an online learning setting because they enable Internet-based communication and sharing among users, who often form communities. To participate, social media users create online identities. Identity, in this context, refers to the combination of text and visual elements that in combination come to distinguish a particular social media user and allow each user to be individually identified and described. A social media identity typically starts as a simple username, but with each interaction that occurs online, additional information is amassed about an identity.

Within the realm of educational technology, social media identities are an important and yet often overlooked topic. When instructors ask students to use social media, pedagogy, learning, and motivation are likely their primary concerns. However, when students ...

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