FireworksThis is it: the final Thing!

Congratulations on making it this far. This thing is about being digitally competent.

It talks about your online identity and conduct, security and confidentiality.

Consider your online identity

Your online identity is an important part of your professional identity. A strong online presence can be a powerful tool in:

  • connecting with others – for collaboration or professional learning purposes.
  • reaching a wider audience.
  • promoting yourself, your school and your students.
  • sharing your ideas and contributions online.
  • highlighting your strengths and achievements.

Regardless of whether or not you have built your online identity, or whether you are active online, you have an online presence from which others can get information. Before we go on, take a moment to watch this video.

As you can see, there is information stored about you online, whether you are aware of it or not. There are ways you can, and should, manage your online presence to present yourself in a positive and professional light.

Managing your online presence

  • Google yourself. Find out what is out there on the Internet about you. You might be surprised.

If you are bothered by the results turned up by Google or another search engine, you can ask for these pages or images to be removed from their results.  Most search engines have a feedback form that can be used to make ‘takedown’ requests.  Google has more information on their process for how to remove information from Google. Just remember, that the offending item will only be removed from the search engine results, it will not be removed from the internet.

  • Think about online accounts and profiles you already have. Do they come up when you search? Do you want them to?

Make sure accounts you already manage are up to date and reflect the persona you want to share – including your name and photograph, if relevant. If you haven’t already, fill out the ‘About’ page on your new or existing blog, and consider adding a photograph. Adjust the privacy settings of any content you don’t want people to have easy access to. If necessary, delete content from your accounts, and ask your friends to remove any images they may have on their sites that could harm you. Try to be consistent across all platforms.

The video below highlights the importance of ensuring that your online presence is one that will serve you well as you enter into the teaching profession.

Professional vs Personal

Do you want to keep your professional and personal identities separate online?

Many choose a middle ground and let their personality shine through their professional presence. Keep in mind that if content is accessible to colleagues and professional contacts, you might not want your latest holiday snaps or student party photos showing. You may also want to consider whether anonymity does or does not fit in with your professional goals. Social media may blur the line between your personal and professional life. PPTA advise separating personal and professional.

As professionals, teachers already have Education Council Code of Ethics for Registered Teachers and conduct and competence guidelines.

Social Media and Professional Boundaries

Social media has created some issues teachers and schools because of its potential to blur professional boundaries. We touched on some of these in Thing 3 – Explore Blogs, when we discussed thinking about what you are sharing about your students before you post.

Social networking sites such a Instagram, Facebook and even Twitter can be a dangerous place for teachers.  Some schools ban teachers from ‘friending’ students on Facebook and have valid reasons for this. Webwise have this social networking advice for teachers.

Teachers and Social Media online resource from the Education Council has a wealth of information and videos to support you to ensure that when it comes to social media you are conducting yourself in a way that aligns with the Code of Ethics for Registered Teachers.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Teachers need to know how to ensure student confidentiality online. You can:

  • set clear guidelines about how students should behave online.
  • use student first names or pseudonyms.
  • use the privacy settings to lock down blogs, cloud storage and websites to a selected audience.
  • consider carefully the purpose and audience for posts, videos, photos etc.

These guidelines from EduBlogs will help get you started.

What next?

The 21st Century Learner is not just your students.  It is you too! We educators also need to have a love for embracing change!

Technology changes all the time. Some of the tools that we have featured will probably be retired or redeveloped.

Learning how to use new technologies for teaching and learning is about experimenting, curiosity, and willingness to learn. Social networking and connecting online with other educators is invaluable.

Learning is about asking questions to make teaching and learning better for our students.

try-this-iconTry this

For your final blog post, we’d like you to tell us what your 3 key learnings (‘takeways’) are from 23 Teaching Things and what you are going to do with these.

We would also appreciate it if you could complete the online survey here, to do give us some feedback about 23 Teaching Things.

If a prospective employer asked you to demonstrate your skills and experience, could you point to professional presences online? If not, it’s time to take control! You’ve already made a crucial step in setting up your blog and twitter account, now build on that.

We challenge you to use the pedagogical and technological ideas from 23 Teaching Things for teaching  and learning out there in the ‘real world’ to create an engaging, personalised and fun learning environment for your students.  Good luck!

explore-further-iconExplore further

Online identity, privacy and safety

Building and Keeping a Positive Digital Identity: A Positive Approach for Educators, Students and Parents is a free download which outlines practical and easy-to-adopt behaviors and strategies  you can use when teaching to ensure that students build and maintain positive online identities.

It is often said the Internet Never Forgets. The Wayback Machine has years and years of web archives. Everything that has been on the web can be found by those who are determined enough, So the best course of action is not to upload any potentially damaging content to the Web in the first place. Remember “Google is the new calling card”.

PPTA Guide on Digital Communication is a downloadable guide developed by the PPTA’s ICT Advisory Group which has  as assistance for teachers in their use of these technologies.

Google offer some tips for keeping children safe online in this video.

Privacy in Schools  is a great reference tool if you are seeking clarity about student  information you can and can’t share.

Digital Citizenship and Cybersafety

The NetSafe Kit for Schools is the goto website for many schools as it has a number of tools to plan a whole of school approach to Digital Citizenship.

Taryn Degnan from Common Sense Media has put together a Privacy and Internet Safety post detailed summary of latest research, tips, and tools on what really keeps kids safe. Thus, helping us to maximize the Internet’s benefits — while minimizing the risks. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning have summarized them nicely here.

Digital Citizenship in Schools is a summary of important digital citizenship concepts for schools.

Enabling e-Learning is a a one-stop shop for planning for the use of digital technology in schools.

Educational Origami wiki  has a section dedicated to ‘The Digital Citizen‘. This section provides an overview of what being a digital citizen means, resources to support teaching how to be a good digital citizen and examples of user agreements for the classroom.

The global digital citizen foundation have identified 6 Powerful Videos For Talking About Cyberbullying With Kids. We have also used these YouTube Videos to promote discussion about being safe online:

Censorship Useful Links from the Department of Internal Affairs  provides a selection of useful links to other websites related to Internet safety, censorship and child safety issues, including some interactive sites for students.

The Future of Education


5 Things You Can Learn From Taylor Swift About eLearning

“As ‘bricoleurs,’ these learners and instructors are taking what they need from the broad palette of tools available in their everyday experiences — whether social networks, cloud computing tools, mobile apps, physical meet-ups, or other emerging resources.”
Dede, C. (2013).


Parts of this Thing were adapted from 23 Things for Research / CC By-NC-SA 3 and Things for Research Oxford / CC By-NC-SA 3.0

Header image: Epic Fireworks / Flickr / CC Attribution 2.0
Icons: Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon / GNU Lesser General Public License

This post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License.

23 teaching things is written by Lucie Lindsay and Bronwyn Edmunds at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education and Social Work. #23Teaching

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