Kathleen Scheaffer: Strategic Co-Lead

What is your primary role in the Digital Tattoo project? 

I am the U of T Strategic Co-Lead. In this role I hire and supervise U of T Digital Tattoo student contributors, as well as work with the other Strategic Co-leads to set a strategic direction for Digital Tattoo.  Fostering a team environment between the two institutions is key to this successful initiative.

When did you start working with the Digital Tattoo? How did you get involved in Digital Tattoo?

In 2014, I reached out to Cindy Underhill, Learning Resource Design Strategist at the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, and Julie Mitchell, Assistant Director, at the UBC Irving K. Barber Learning Centre when I was writing a piece on digital literacy for the Journal of Academic Librarianship, as they were the current Digital Tattoo Co-Leads. In 2015, through several emails, video chats, and on-site face-to-face meetings, we explored and established U of T as partner to the UBC Digital Tattoo team.  Promoting and creating opportunities for U of T students to engage with UBC students in the crucial digital identity conversation was at the forefront of my efforts with forging the UBC and U of T Digital Tattoo partnership.

Why do you believe Digital Tattoo is an important initiative?

Digital Tattoo is a Canadian higher ed digital identity advocacy initiative that involves, employs, and educates current undergrad and graduate students.  Through tweets, Instagram posts, videos, and blog posts, our student contributors help to lead and foster critical online discussions regarding digital identity. The process of building and strengthening ties with the academic community through inviting students to the learning and teaching table is a powerful approach. While the speed at which the digital landscape, cultural/social norms, online practices, policies, laws, settings, players, and technology develop, transform, modify, change, and become obsolete prevents the establishment of concrete critical self-assessment competencies of consumption and production online, the Digital Tattoo model affords the imperative venues for on-going conversations. Students sparking and documenting an evolving series of questions that ignite reflection and critical assessment of participation and/or disengagement is crucial.

What do you hope that readers will get out of Digital Tattoo? 

A fuller understanding of digital environments through an encouraged ongoing practice of critically assessing the implications and benefits of adopting and integrating technologies to daily mediate work and personal lives.

What is your current professional role?

Librarian, Learning and Research CoordinatorICCIT, University of Toronto Mississauga

What’s something people might not know about you? 

I have been vegan for 20+ years.

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver and Toronto? 

Vancouver: Acorn and Wallflower

Toronto: E. L. Ruddy, Planta, Live, and Bloomers

Do you have any pets?

While all the bunnies in and beyond this world have a place in my heart, currently I share home with bunny named Betty Lou.