Class 3: Digital Footprints

This week’s readings are all about managing your online reputation to make sure you’re not sending the wrong message to future employers.  In Your online reputation can hurt your job search, the author, Kim Komando, urges readers to search for themselves, see what is out there, and manage the material, trying to limit the negative and create more positives.  There is not much out there when I search my name, but I am very conscious about how I am perceived on the internet.  I try to limit my exposure as much as I can, as I like to maintain some privacy.  On social networking sites, I keep to the most strict privacy settings and try to keep only pictures and information that I wouldn’t mind future employers or my mom seeing.  The most interesting advice I pulled away from Komando’s article was to create profiles on the social networking sites, so future employers would not search and find another person with your name with potentially pictures or information.

How can you manage your digital footprint as an international educator?

As an educator, I think it becomes important to manage your footprint, not only to help with a future job hunt, but because your students are out there checking out what’s online.  We teach by example and want to keep our private lives private.  My personal management technique is not to increase the positive info on the web, but to limit all information as much as possible.  I don’t want a big online presence.  Even blogging for this class makes me uncomfortable sometimes, as I wonder if these blogs about tech are what I really want representing me on the internet, given how little I try to put out there.
How would a digital profile help or hinder you if you went looking for a new job?

You digital profile can have a positive or negative impact on a job search, and the impact depends on the job you are looking for and the type of profile you have created.  As a teacher, evidence of projects, research, classroom blogs and websites can help in the job search, as employers can see the technology you are using to teach and communicate.  Alternatively, inappropriate material could prevent you from being hired.
What then are the implications for students and how should educators be teaching them to have a positive digital footprint?

Students today have a whole new set of responsibilities that I did not have when I was a kid.  Silly things you do as a child, when done online, can follow you around for a lifetime.  We have a responsibility to help our students understand information on the internet, how media travels online, and the permanency of our work and the things we do on the internet.  We need to be talking about what is appropriate, privacy and privacy settings, and the possible consequences (positive and negative) of posting on the internet.

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