J.G. Holland once said, “Character lives in a man, reputation outside of him.” Everyone has a reputation. In some careers they come with a great cost. As pointed out in the article, “Managing Your E-Reputation: Facts And Myths,” “Some employers will factor in the metrics of your online presence during the hiring process (mostly in communications-based positions). Nonetheless, employers of almost any field will expect that you have some sort of existence online in order to gauge your qualifications and see if you are a good fit for the company.” The actions I take as a human being help to shape and define my character and reputation. In having experienced both the joy of being valued and hired and the responsibility of hiring an individual who values the position they are being hired for, character and reputation have played a key role in both. It is my belief that your reputation is merely a reflection of your character. Whether you are an employer or an employee the reflection can either be a horrendous hindrance or a huge help.
Should I have a digital footprint as an international educator? Well sure. I think teaching internationally gives one the distinct opportunity to highlight their experiences not only professionally but as a world traveler and life-long learner. More importantly those I teach reflect what I know and/or have experienced in life. If I have witnessed the possible impact a negative digital presence can have on an individual, I have a responsibility to at least share that information and offer suggestions as to how one can prevent such an occurrence.
One idea that I have been sharing with family, friends, and former colleagues back in the states is the idea of students having an e-portfolio. It was something that was shared by Dana Watts, the middle school technology integrator as a way for students to display not only their accomplishments but growth as well as a measure that can be used to teach digital citizenship. My wordle of citizenship includes the following words: responsibility, residency, respect, and integrity. That being said, I have a responsibility as an educator of knowledge and citizen of the United States, to respect not only the country I live in but to those I visit to conduct myself and actions with a sense of integrity and pay homage to those who have helped shape my life. I realize that what I say and what I do leave an imprint whether physically, emotionally, or digitally. In fact I have taken action on the recommendation offered by columnist Kim Komando in her article entitled “Your online reputation can hurt your job search.” Kim recommends, “Start a blog highlighting your professional skills. Write posts on your field to show off your professional knowledge. List your full name at the bottom of your posts. Include links to the positive comments you found. And be sure to list your accomplishments in your bio.” Please visit http://katrinajbrown.wordpress.com/.