We live and work in the internet age. A time where information is flooding into our minds via hand held devices that we seem to almost never put down. Should that sea of information include you? What does it mean for a teacher if they stamp their mark firmly onto this interconnected, online world? What happens if they shy away from it, control it so that no one can find them? What then?
Have you ever taken a moment to google yourself? Type your name (or your email address) and hit enter. What comes up? Those results are called your digital footprint (or tatoo – it’s not always easy to remove those links!) It represents you both in and outside of your career. What does it say?
Some of us might share our name with a fair few others. Perhaps it’s those others who appear and not you? Try changing the search and add your hometown next to your name. Any better? Don’t be too happy if nothing appears. We live, work and teach in the digital age. In fact, there are even professional standards we need to be able to meet that address the online world. What principals want to see is someone who can operate online and do so ethically.
The truth is, if you don’t take control of what’s on the internet with your name attached, someone else will. This is not just about making sure that you don’t share dodgy pictures of your misspent youth on Facebook (or whichever social media site is cool right now), this is about your brand. What people see when they google you is important. Parents, colleagues principals anyone in the community could google you. What do you want them to see? Choose to share things online that show you as the fantastic professional you are.
Learners are the Best Teachers – Show yourself as one
The best teachers are those who are strong learners; who understand that learning is a lifelong experience (and one that doesn’t stop when you pick up your degree certificate!). Everyone who subscribes to Edufolios understands that. They’re all working hard to show that they are progressing and developing their skillsets. Edufolios helps to showcase you as a professional and as a learner.
When you’re decided what to make public or private consider that. Your blog posts show you as a learner as someone developing your skills. Now, obviously there are going to certain piece of information that shouldn’t share online and there are those that you can share but should be limited to a specific audience only. However, the vast majority of our work should be celebrated and shared. Don’t be afraid of sharing your learning journey and showing your strength as chief learner in your classroom.
Understanding the world online will help you demonstrate 4.5 and 2.6
Of course, there are specific teacher standards which ask you to demonstrate that you can, of course, operate socially and ethically online. These are exactly the same skill sets that we expect our own students to demonstrate within the ICT General Capability. An online site, like Edufolios, gives you the chance to demonstrate several of these elements.
- Show that you understand intellectual property by ensuring you correctly attribute images.
- Show that you can follow personal and digital security rules by only making private what needs to be private. If the whole site is private, how are you showing that you can make a distinction between sensitive and nonsensitive information? Remember that are certain types of information that should never be shared outside your school’s network (This varies Education department by department)
- Comment moderation is turned on as standard in Edufolios. This means that if anyone choose to comment on your post you will be asked to approve it before it is made public.
- Having comment moderation on helps to show that you understand how to operate ICT to ensure that you allow communication with unknown sources whilst protecting your identity from spammers and anything unethical; something that Year 3s and 4s are expected to learn too.
Edufolios creates a space where you have the opportunity to give a live demonstration of your ability to operate safely and ethically online. Why wouldn’t you take that opportunity?