Have you Googled yourself yet? While it might seem a vain act, Googling yourself gives you a decent snapshot of your current digital footprint. Your students, their parents, your employers, and anyone who wants to know more about you might take this first step. Some of us already have pages of information on Google and others might just appear as a listing in the White Pages.
My Google Search
Either way, we should take control of our future digital footprints and model for our students the creation and maintenance of an online presence since in “a recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep, 27% of college admissions officers say that they Google applicants and 26% check their Facebook profiles during the admissions process. A whopping 35% of admissions reps said they reviewed something on these sites that negatively affected a student’s chances of being accepted. Since last year, this figure has nearly tripled” (College Admissions: How Social Media Can Ruin Your Application). If you don’t like what you see when you map your digital footprint, consider tidying up with tips in this article. And, before you post another picture, join an additional site, or vent in a discussion forum, think like a writer.
Purpose and Audience: Maybe this stems from being an English teacher for a number of years, but the advice I often give people who are entering the digital world is to think like a writer and focus on purpose and audience before opening their iPads or laptops.
What is your purpose for going digital?
Why Post to a Blog?
- sharing ideas
- inspiring action
- learning from others
Who is your audience?
Is Facebook a place for me to catch up with friends and family across the country, or is it a place where my students might learn from me and their peers? The answers to these questions might shape not only the voice and content of your digital creations but the location as well.
Publishing: If I want my students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept, might they post to my blog, FB, or Instagram? Which of the following tools might be most powerful for my purpose and audience?
- personal website
- course website (via Edline/Google sites/iWeb)
- social networks (FB, Twitter, blog, Google+)
- professional networks (LinkedIn, Academia.edu)
- media sharing (youtube, Flickr, Instagram)
- interest sharing (Pinterest, Good Reads)
- webtools (Quia, Diigo, ShowMe, Linoit)
Reflection/Revision: Writers request feedback from editors and peers, make adjustments, and try again to more successfully achieve their goals. How do we know our digital presence is working if we don’t ask our audience for their comments and suggestions? What might we rethink based on the feedback we receive?
An instructional coach can support you in this process of planning, publishing, and reflecting.
Your turn: What are your goals for creating a digital presence? Which tools have helped you reach them? What have you learned about these tools and how they work together? Post your thoughts and questions here or on Twitter, using the hashtag #khspd.