Blogpost 7 – overview of topic for visual essay

The topic I am going to look at for my visual essay is reasons for having more than one online identity and if teachers should be made to change their online identity to prevent students or parents finding them on social media. Many people in the teaching profession have the view that teachers should not have social media, for example Facebook. Whereas some believe it is okay to have social media if it is private and under a different identity.

In general many people use more than one online identity, not just people in the teaching profession. This is so they can separate their personal and professional life. Employers often check a potential employee’s social media when viewing their job application. This can have positive and negative effects for the employee. Employers could see on the employee’s Facebook that they just go out drinking all the time, or they use language which is inappropriate. Also employers may think the employee has no personality if they just see all work related business on their account. On the other hand an employer may view a profile and see what they are looking for and this could help the employee gain a job. I personally have only heard negative stories about employers looking at Facebook when it comes to applying for a job. This leads to some people making a different social media under their real name for employers to view and having a separate one to use with friends and family under a different name.

(mkhmarketing, 2013)

(mkhmarketing, 2013)

Many student teachers are told not to have Facebook at all. I think this is very unrealistic as so many people use Facebook nowadays and social media is used for a variety of reasons. Many students I know have changed their name on their profile so they cannot be found by pupils. I, however, think making my profile as private as it can be is enough to prevent pupils or parents seeing personal photos or information about myself. The General Teaching Council for Scotland (2014) states teachers should “take great care and use common sense and appropriateness in your use of social networking, always mindful of the reality and perception in regard to your position and reputation as a student teacher and the appropriate professional boundaries between yourself and pupils”. Due to this teachers need to be careful what they allow on their profile as it could potentially affect their career if the wrong person was to see it. An example of this is when Jarvis (2013) stated “a 25 year-old student teacher was deprived of her diploma after posting a MySpace photo of herself drinking under the caption, “Drunken Pirate”.” Even though this photo was taken outside of the student’s personal life it affected her career.

I chose this topic for my visual essay as it relates to my future career as a primary teacher. In my personal experience I have never had a teacher saying to me they have had problems with being on social media under their real name. If there is nothing inappropriate on your profile I do not think there is a problem with having social media as long as teachers do not accept any friend requests from pupils or parents.

References

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3 thoughts on “Blogpost 7 – overview of topic for visual essay

  1. Cristina Costa says:

    This topic is relevant and you seem to have a special interest in exploring it given your role as a teacher.

    You talk about not having a social media presence, or having a closed/private one. What about those who go for a public one? Will they also feature in your essay? That would probably be the third element of your argument. It might be worth looking at what practitioners say about it. I’d recommend, for instance, asking George Couros and Alec Couros about their opinions and reading their blogs. Joe Wilson (@joecar on twitter) might also provide useful insights which you might then be able to use in your essay (as testimonies of practitioners).

    I hope this helps you refine your topic which is rather interesting

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  2. this topic of online identity really interests me as well. i think it’s something which can be a good thing- it allows people to create a completely different persona than their real life self but it can also be a bad thing- you never truly know someone who you meet online, you could be talking to anyone. i think it is also very relatable as future teachers- it is something which we must be aware of.

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  3. I think this will be a very interesting topic to cover in your visual essay. As future teachers I think it is very important for us to be coming across in a way that is acceptable and appropriate regardless of whether or not our profiles are private/public. To say teachers shouldn’t have social media such as Facebook etc. is a bit extreme and I would think most of the people making these claims are unaware of how privatised you can make profiles nowadays.

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