Friday, February 25, 2011

How "All About Me" can define you on the Web

AR #3

The point of having an online identity for a teacher is to give a positive personal idea of who you are and what you hope to achieve as an educator.  The Internet can be used for a variety of reasons for a teacher, especially when a teacher creates a web page.  Most teachers create a webpage to allow for a more convenient way for parents and students to be informed about a class without having to remember everything expressed during “Open House”.  This is usually an event when teachers meet parents and students, give a bunch of information and start off the year.  A class web page that is maintained by an educator can be used for a variety of things.  Some examples are to convey a philosophy or mission statement, which is to tell what the general goal should be for the class, grade level or school.  This type of website can provide vital information with links to grade books, calendar of events, homework or assignments that are due, or just reminders.  It also cuts down on paper, as links can be set up with documents that can be printed, because let’s face it a pile of paper remains a growing pile, but if it’s organized and on a website it is easily accessible. 

There are other reasons to have online websites or even blogs as a teacher.  This can help with writing, communicating with other students, or coworkers, and even act as collaboration on projects for class.  With the wide range of online contacts that can be made a student can increase their resources to an almost immeasurable degree.  Some programs can be useful, as the Microsoft Word 2007 has a blog integration tool.  Those who have limited computer experience can gain quick online skills with programs they are comfortable with.  Other types of tools educators can use are “wikis”, which allow for a group authoring of a book or other related projects.  A great example is the Wikipedia.   Another tool that has been greatly advanced due to Mac’s iPod and other related system units, is the “podcast”.  This is described like an Internet based radio show.  As for communications it can be endlessly utilized from plain communications of opinions, to class lectures and professional development. (Shelly, 2010) Lastly a growing trend is the use of multimedia studio software.   These types of software programs use digital technology and have simplified the production of video clips.  This makes the laborious job of professionals easier for our next generation of students.  It enables them to practice and learn media skills without having to use expensive equipment.  Also it allows them to spend less time in the studio producing and more time creating.

I had the task of creating my own personality this week.  As this is a public blog, I was careful in every aspect from my philosophy to the interests and content of my blog.  It was actually a lot like when I first signed up for Facebook.  Certain information is left blank, but important educational elements are added to give the whole world an idea of my goal for an online presence.  It is now out for the public to see and add to which releases my control of the blog to the public.  The biggest concern I have is what ideas am I presenting for my coworkers, administrators, parents, students and even the general publics prospective of an educator.  Each person who public writes on the Web, gives a characteristic of all educators.  As a general rule I kept in mind what does this make me and other in my profession look like to a person that has never met me?  This leads to a big problem that the Internet has created for educators and that a permanent record of rumors or complaints that no matter how true they are, can always be found by anybody. 

The newest problem that can ruin a teacher’s reputation is the online comments made about them online.  There are also the online mistakes that teachers make.  In greater details to people and their online mistakes and how reputations can be ruined check out a site about our “Future Reputation”.  It is easy for a problem with a teacher can turn into instant online gossip.  Through testimonies from fellow union members I have heard of everything from parents blasting teacher on Facebook because of a disagreement, to misuse of Facebook relationships between teachers and parents or students, and even union impeachment of an elected position due to a Facebook post.  The common factor is a blog on the Internet is public, and if you don’t want someone to see it don’t right it.  It comes down to a rumor doesn’t have to be true, and especially on the Internet it becomes permanent, no matter if it’s true or false, it’s been told to the world.  This used to be true about what we said in the teacher’s lounge but now has moved to the digital world, where the “digital footprint” is permanent.
Shelly, Gunter, Gunter (2010) Teachers Discovering Computers Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom Sixth edition. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Solove, Daniel J., (2007) The Future of Reputation. Retrieved from:

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your statement,the point of having an online identity for a teacher is to give a positive personal idea of who you are and what you hope to achieve as an educator.
    I believe this is the case in every situation as an educator but media and others put sucha bad spin on things that one just has to be careful. I saw on the news where a teacher was fired because some students found him on facebook and was sending him comments and he responded to the students. I just would rather leave my personal, personal and my professional, professional. For every one good experience with the internet one sometimes hears two bad experiences. I guess that's why I'm so hesitant about sharing any information pertaining to myself online.