Tech Task #10: Online Identity

Throughout this class, we have been told many times about our digital footprint or online identity. I have come to realize how important it is to have a clean mark throughout the internet. It is so easy to access information in this modern age that any skeletons you may have hiding in your closet may not remain there for very long. I personally am not really into multimedia or having accounts all over the internet, however, I do know that when I was younger I had a couple mean things happen to me via the internet, and although I may think they are gone, the right person may be able to find them again. The sad part is, I didn’t even create it myself, it was part of a bullying episode, but there is always that chance that it could jeopardize my career or a job I may be in the running for. It might have been these incidents that stirred me away from really wanting to get involved with social media because it was terrible having to create new accounts all the time when mine kept getting hacked into and then who knows what was being done after that. I have never been interested in Twitter or wikis or even blogs. I used to have MSN but got rid of it because of the afore mentioned reasons. Currently I have Facebook but I only check it about once a month and nothing ever is on there so I just log out and carry on with my day. For some reasons this may be good. It means that I am not creating a dirty digital footprint. However, it is not good because I am missing out on the way the world communicates now. There are so many cool things you can use the internet and social media, like Twitter or blogs, for. For example, I can ask other educators questions I may not know the answers too, I can find ideas for interesting lesson plans, or I could even just make friends and connections all over the world.

In the profession of teaching, social media and online identity are becoming very important.There is such a push to integrate technology into your everyday classroom and try new areas of discomfort. Teachers are supposed to teach for the students and not for themselves. Well, in this day and age, children learn through technology…in fact, many of them know more about computers than their teachers! If teacher’s are supposed to teach for their students and students are learning through technology, the answer seems pretty simple. Class blogs would be a great way to interact with other classrooms around the world, have assignments for students, let parents know what is going on in your classroom, and for getting away from the traditional type of learning. I truly believe students would love to work on a computer rather then sit at their desk with a paper and a pencil in hand. Also, through using technology in your classroom, such as a blog, you can teach students HOW to create a clean digital footprint, what this means, and how to search for good and appropriate content. This is not knowledge students are born with, they need to be taught just as teachers were taught. For example, the youtube video  of Alexandra Wallace and her racist rant would be a good way to teach students how sensitive your reputation and identity are on the internet. She was really out of line in what she said but she also was very silly for putting her face all over the internet while saying these things. She made a very bad choice that has ruined her life for a while and her reputation for even longer. Showing students this video and explaining why it was wrong and what has happened to her since would be a very concrete way of demonstrating how fragile we really are to the whole world. If students learn at a young age what a positive image looks like, they are much more likely to carry that through as they grow older. For example, talking about appropriate and inappropriate pictures and comments on Facebook, Myspace or Twitter, the use of class blogs, or wikispaces, etc. Also, I feel using social media in the classroom would help to bond the students together as opposed to those cliques that are in every single classroom. I am really big on breaking up cliques and promoting inclusion and recognition of EVERYONE’S talents in my classroom because I was one of the student’s who was often excluded when I was young and I remember how it feels.

Video of Alexandra Wallace’s rant about Asians in the library at UCLA

Video of 2 Manitoba teacher’s lap dancing during an assembly

Be Careful what you put on the internet…

The Art of Teaching with Mr. G

Teacher’s Guide to Using Facebook

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