Visual Essay – Online Identities and Teachers

Please find here the link to my visual essay:

http://www.moovly.com/usergallery/5ade03e6-55ea-2f90

Many people choose to have multiple online identities to separate their personal and professional life. This can have different effects on a person’s career. A profession in which a lot of people choose to have more than one online identity is teaching. This is to prevent children or parents viewing a teacher’s profile online. To stop themselves being found online many teachers choose to change their name or create a different social media. The General Teaching Council for Scotland (2014), states teachers should be careful of their behaviour when using social media and be professional at all times.

A benefit of having more than one online identity is to avoid an employer viewing posts or pictures on social media which could affect your career. When applying for a new job, it is becoming more common for employers to check a future employee’s social media before employing them. This is to check in case there are posts or photos on the social media which are inappropriate or show the employee negatively. The effects of social media can be very serious for a person’s career. Jarvis (2011) 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”.” As it is unlikely that all teachers will avoid using social media, many choose to change their privacy settings or create more than one identity.

Another reason for having more than one online identity is to use social media to advertise a person’s business or share information to a wide audience. This is kept separate from their own social media which is used with friends and family. University lecturers, for example, often use social media to communicate with students and other professionals. Also Freeman (2014) states social media helps a business find new customers through current customers liking posts on the page. It is a great way to spread information but the owner of the business would more than likely want to keep their personal social media separate.

On the other hand a reason for not having more than one online identity is each profile does not give a true portrayal of the person. Each identity will show a different part of the person whether this is their professional side or more of their personality. Therefore a potential employer viewing an employee’s profile may think the person does not have the correct personality for the job as they are only seeing one aspect.

An additional reason given by Jarvis (2011), for not using multiple online identities is to prevent online bullying. People use anonymous identities to bully others from behind a keyboard. This can make it impossible for the bully to be tracked down and stopped. Additionally, this can also be the case when people make identities with false information or images to deceive other people. Peterson (2013) looks at this and claims it may be due to low confidence in themselves. In serious cases, false identities have been used by middle aged men posing as teenagers to chat to others.

Overall, having more than one online identity can have positives and negatives. To determine if it is a benefit or not people need to look closely into what line of work they are in and if it would help them.

References

Blogpost 8 – Summary

The class “Living, Learning and Working in the Context of the Digital Economy”, has been extremely beneficial in influencing my learning and encouraging me to help others with their learning. This has been through listening to discussions in class and reading other people’s twitter posts and blogposts.

My peers at University have greatly influenced my learning by commenting on my blogposts. This has challenged what I have written and made me think more about the topic. Often it has brought new points and ideas to my attention due to questions being asked in the comments. For example, the comments made on my “Blogpost 6 – Pros and cons of online surveillance, safety and privacy” made me question what I had written the day before. The questions asked resulted in me looking into the topic more and reading about lots of others peoples’ opinions on the topic. Therefore this did influence my learning. The twitter page which was set up for the class, https://twitter.com/hashtag/LLWDE14?src=hash, did not influence my learning as much as I thought it would as I did not find it as useful as the commenting on blogposts. However what I did see on twitter made me research topics more as people shared links to documents they found useful and interesting. Finally being able to discuss the class topics in person with my peers hugely influenced my learning. This was due to working together to find answers to questions or talking about that week’s reading.

The way in which I contributed to other people’s learning is similar to how they contributed to my own learning. When asked questions by my peers in person or for example through text, I would try to help them by thinking of other ways we could look at the topic and other opinions which could be taken into account. Through contributing to others’ learning I was improving my own learning without realizing it. I also contributed to some peoples’ learning by commenting on their blogposts. This will have had the same effect they had through commenting on mine. It improved their learning by giving them another person’s opinion on the topic and also my learning by making me read other blogs and take new ideas into account.

Overall the class did influence my learning more than I thought it would. However some parts of the class helped more than others. I found the blogposts and commenting system the most beneficial part to my learning. On the other hand the twitter page was not as useful to me as it may have been to other people. This may be due to me not using twitter before this class and not having a great understanding of it.

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

Blogpost 6 – Pros and cons of online surveillance, safety and privacy

(Roberts, 2013)

(Roberts, 2013)

I personally do not think there are any cons of online surveillance, safety and privacy. I can only think of positives about it. Online safety and privacy is vital for people using technology. Technology is used for many tasks nowadays, many of which require personal details to be shared, for example, online shopping or banking. This requires people to be able to trust the website they are using enough to share their details.

Online surveillance in particular is the monitoring of peoples’ activity online. An advantage of online surveillance is that it will make using the internet safer. Any action which is inappropriate will have been recorded and more criminals can face the consequences for their actions.

Another advantage of online surveillance is it has prevented terrorist attacks. According to Francis (2013), online surveillance has provided “authorities with leads on potential and existing terrorists”.

(McIntosh, 2009)

(McIntosh, 2009)

In research carried out by Heatherfield (2014), it was found that online surveillance of employees in work environments was very beneficial. Many of the employees were found to be doing personal tasks during their work time for example, bookkeeping for their own personal business on company time. Even a supervisor was found to spend over six hours a day “visiting board sites, doing online banking, shopping, chatting and posting on message boards, reading recipe sites, and spending hours in personal email”.

However a disadvantage of using online surveillance in the workplace is it can affect the relationship between the employee and the employer. Relationships are built on trust and if an employee knows their every move is being watched they may feel not trusted or constantly under pressure to work to the best standard. This could lead to people leaving the job due to stress or feeling like they have no privacy.

Another disadvantage of online surveillance is many question where the online surveillance will stop? Everyone has the right to freedom and some believe the government should not be allowed to know what you are doing online. Many also believe online surveillance encourages people to spy on others through the internet and invade peoples’ personal privacy.

After researching this topic, I still believe that the pros outweigh the cons of online surveillance. If online surveillance leads to less illegal activity online and results in people working to a higher standard in their work environment then I believe it is a good thing. The prevention of terrorist attacks due to online surveillance is extremely beneficial and important. In my personal experience, I have never noticed being surveyed online so it has never affected me. No one I know of has ever been surveyed online either so the technique used for online surveillance must be very subtle.

In conclusion, if people are not doing anything wrong online then they should not be worried about their online activity being watched.

References

Blogpost 5 – Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is defined by Ribble (2014) as the way in which people should behave when using technology. There are many elements of digital citizenship from digital access to digital security. The element I will focus on is digital etiquette. To be a digital citizen, technology users must know the digital etiquette of being online. Digital etiquette is a set of rules which everyone should follow online to ensure they are treating people the way they want to be treated.

The main digital etiquette rules for people to follow are be polite, read over the message you are about to send and use grammar. Many messages can be read by the receiver in the wrong way due to bad grammar or because the message has been sent in the ‘heat of the moment’. Sending an angry email or message for example, to your boss can have serious consequences.

(ransomtech, 2011)

(ransomtech, 2011)

I think children should be taught from a young age about digital etiquette. This may reduce the amount of cyberbullying there is on the internet. A survey taken by Digiteen (2014) involving teenagers showed that many know very little about digital etiquette and have been treated inappropriately online. Out of the teenagers surveyed 40% had never been taught about digital etiquette and the remaining 60% had only learned a very small amount. The same survey found 15% of the teenagers had been offended by either one or two posts online or emails. The remaining 85% had been offended more than three times in the same way. Today it is so easy for young people to see others acting in an inappropriate way on the internet and think they can do the same.

(Dunn, 2008)

(Dunn, 2008)

In my experience I do not remember ever being taught about digital etiquette when I was growing up, I picked it up as I was on the internet more and more regularly. When I was younger my Mum would help me when I was typing a professional letter or email to show me how I should address the person I am writing to and the language I should use. I think it is hard for parents to teach children digital etiquette as they have not grown up with this relatively new technology. This is why I think it is important for teachers to devote part of their I.C.T. lessons in school to the way their pupils should behave online throughout their lives.  However even though I was never taught digital etiquette, I was taught manners and I think children should know that the manners they use face to face with people apply the same to talking to people over the internet.

References

Blogpost 4 – Advantages and disadvantages of content being freely available online

Remixing content is defined as changing original content and adding other content to it to make something new. Anything which is uploaded on the internet can be used by other people whether they are just copying it or remixing it. Nowadays pretty much anything is made freely available online, it does not need to be paid for by its viewers.

(Beats House, 2011)

(Beats House, 2011)

An advantage of content being freely available online is anyone can view it. Therefore Nest (2013) states this increases people’s knowledge as the internet can spread information. The available content is mostly educational and can be used as a resource for teaching. This can be hugely beneficial to those who are not in full time education. Another advantage stated by Nest (2013) is that freely available content can help with research. Content which is online can be developed by other researches and expanded on. An additional advantage is there are many websites which people can use to advertise their content. For example, Youtube, has been used by many artists and comedians to promote themselves and build a reputation. Youtube has led to many people becoming well known and successful.

On the other hand a disadvantage of content being freely available online is that the person who produces the content is not gaining anything according to Hodgkins (2014). Another disadvantage is people can take other producer’s content and remix it or credit it as their own work without giving any acknowledgement to the original producer. The original producer is therefore being given a bad deal as they will not receive any credit for the remix or make any profit from it.

In my personal experience content being freely available online is a great advantage to users of the internet. I use online content on a daily basis, especially for University work. It is an extremely practical and effective way to research University assignments, for example. I also think it is a good, modern way for people to make a name for themselves. Viewers are unlikely to want to pay for content by artists and comedians they have never heard of in case they do not like their work. Therefore it makes sense to make the content free until they have built a name for themselves.

References

Blogpost 3 – Reasons for and against having more than one online identity

There can be many reasons for and against having more than one online identity. Online identity is defined by Williams, Fleming, Lundquist and Parslow (2010) as “the persona a person projects across the internet”. Your online identity is made up of information and photos that you post yourself and also anything others mention or tag you in. A person’s online identity is becoming more important as an increasing number of employers are using social media to search potential future employees.

(Bishop, 2013)

(Bishop, 2013)

A reason for having multiple online identities is you can separate your personal life from your professional life. There are often posts or images on a person’s personal social media site that they would not want a future employer to see. Many employers judge potential employees on their social media and reject their application after seeing things which do not portray the person in the best way. Despite social media sites having personalised security settings many employers will still be able to view the basics of a person’s profile. Jarvis (2011) states “a 25-year-old student teacher was deprived of her diploma after posting a MySpace photo of herself drinking over the caption, “Drunken Pirate”.”. Even though this photo was taken outside her professional life certain people saw the photo and did not think it was appropriate. Social media users having more than one online identity means they can use one identity for friends and the other for potential employers to view. Many use an additional identity to advertise their businesses or work.

A reason for not having multiple online identities is that employers who view your professional online identity may think you are too serious and do not have the correct personality to work for them. Sometimes it is better for employers to see their employee can equally balance their personal and professional life. Another reason for not using more than one online identity is anonymous trolls (Jarvis, 2011). People use anonymous identities to bully others online, make comments about people and spread rumours. This makes it impossible for the person doing the bullying to be tracked down and stopped. Additionally a reason for not having multiple online identities is that some people abuse this and make identities with fake information and photos about themselves to chat to other people. This could be because they are not confident using their own photo as described by Peterson (2013). In more serious situations fake identities have been used for example, by middle aged men posing as teenagers to meet with real teenagers.

In my personal experience I have never had more than one online identity as I never thought I needed it. I make sure my social media is as private as it can be and untag or remove anything I do not want shown on my page. I would be happy for friends or any future employer to view my profile as I have made sure there is nothing inappropriate on it.

In this day and age it is very easy to find out information about someone or what they are like by their online identity.

References