When you’re online, you can be anyone you want to be. Just ask Brad Paisley:
Seriously though… digital identity is something that I have been very mindful of since graduation. I began with using high-security settings on social media but still having my leisure time public to my friend group.
When I got into the education program I became hyper vigilant about what or how I post online. You might say that I was scared into cleaning up my digital presence. There are many horror stories about teachers losing or not getting jobs and the more administrators I meet, the more they say social media is a number one go to for first impressions.
Having said this, I refuse to take photos with anyone or anything I think someone may have second thoughts about. I play it safe. Some people have said.. online pages are not genuine. They paint an “ideal” picture of someone. If someone wants to know me.. they can accept me for who I am; faults and all. I would have to agree with this on a certain level, but to me first impressions are everything. I want future admin. and staff to look at me and say, she takes her job seriously. I would also argue that teachers have a difficult time as it is fighting the stereotype of “glorified babysitters”.I believe this is a professional career and I need to represent it as such.
Most importantly, I am mindful of my digital presence because my students will find me. It is not a matter of if, but when. When my students do find me… I want to be a positive role model. I want them to see the things I advocate for and represent.
Facebook and Instagram are used for mostly personal ventures, but I still post on topics related to education often. I keep my privacy settings high on these pages but am still mindful of the language and topics I post about because like I said, I want to be a positive role model and I want to represent education in a professional way.
Twitter, on the other hand, is dominantly used for education purposes. I have a beef with Twitter drama. If I look on Twitter outside education it appears to be the modern day news channel so I try not to venture far from it being educational only.
As a future educator, I want to teach my students about digital identity and creating a positive and purposeful online presence. Of course, we are all human and we all want to have fun. However, the internet is the limelight of your identity and it can have an impact on your future. This is critical for students to understand. The internet is just the touch of a button. It is instant and forever (as of right now). This is some heavy fire for young children and teens to be playing with without a little help along the way.
This week I searched Twitter for some articles that might help me figure out how to teach digital identity or where to start. Here is a couple I really liked:
This resource is a fantastic break in program for young learners. It goes through the very basics of personal identity and digital identity. It is thorough in describing certain terms like private information vs. information that is open to share with most people. The difference between these two I think is important for kids to know when they have access to public chat rooms etc.
I NEED to experiment with this in the classroom! This is such an engaging way for students to learn about digital identity and safety online. They use games and motivational sentences to bring kids in. What better way to get kids into learning?!