Tag Archives: digital footprint

Managing MY Digital Footprint

We live in an ever-increasingly digital world, and what our digital footprint shows about us can affect our relations with students, coworkers, and our future job prospects. It is important to know how to manage our reputation and to put forth a professional image. Here are some steps I will soon be taking to professionalize my online image: 

1. Take inventory. This involves searching for yourself on several search engines, looking at 3-5 pages of search results and classifying each page as positive or negative (McGinnis, 2012). This should be done when you are signed OUT of the search engine to give you the best idea of what other people see about you. 

2. Set up Google alerts. Lowenthal and Dunlop (2012) recommend optimizing search engines to control your online presence by setting up Google alerts to let you know whenever new content is posted about you. To maximize the effectiveness of these alerts, you should include all variations of your name that may be used.

3. Utilize Twitter Effectively. Make sure your Twitter account is your name or initials, not a nickname. Be sure your profile is brief and high-level. Follow people and subjects relevant to education and participate in the discussion (Taub, 2012).

4. Create (or get) a professional website. This creates a centralized location for all of your professional papers, lessons, etc. regardless of where you are employed. This will drive people to your site, allow you to track visitors, and allow you to blog in a centralized location (Taub).

5. Use a professional photo. This will create a professional atmosphere on your website and blogs (Koekemoer, 2012, slide 20). 

6. Purchase your domain name (kjerstiwithers.com). This will protect your reputation by giving you control over the domain, and will give people an obvious place to look for you online (Lowenthal and Dunlop, 2012).

7. Create a brand or UVP (unique value proposition) for yourself. This will show who you are and what is important to you. It will show prospective employers, parents, and students what unique skills you bring to your classroom (Kujawaski, slide 21).

8. Maintain a blog. This should be used to let readers know what you are doing and will allow others access to your ideas (Lowenthal and Dunlop, 2012). 

9. Share teaching materials online. This will show the quality of your ideas (Lowenthal and Dunlop, 2012).

10. Be good users of others’ work. Read and comment intelligently on other scholars’ works. This will show positive interactions with colleagues and promote your online presence (Lowenthal and Dunlop, 2012).

Koekemoer, A. (2012, Jul 2012). Your digital footprint in a social media world: Protecting and building your digital resume online. Slideshare retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/AntonRSA/your-digital-footprint-in-a-social-media-world?ref=http://edtech.mrooms.org/mod/page/view.php?id=92503.

Kujawaski, M. Tools and tips for managing your personal digital footprint. Slideshare retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/mikekujawski/tools-and-tips-for-managing-your-personal-digital-footprint?ref=http://edtech.mrooms.org/mod/page/view.php?id=92503.

Lowenthal, P. And Dunlop, J. (2012, Jun 5). Intentional web presence: 10 SEO strategies every academic needs to know. EducauseReview. Retrieved from http://er.educause.edu/articles/2012/6/intentional-web-presence-10-seo-strategies-every-academic-needs-to-know.

McGinnis, Sean. (2012, Aug 23). Online Reputation Management: A How-to Guide. Spinsucks. Retrieved from http://spinsucks.com/communication/online-reputation-management-a-how-to-guide/.

Taub, A. (2012, Jun 7). 5 key things needed to improve your digital identity. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/alextaub/2012/06/07/5-key-things-needed-to-improve-your-digital-identity/#791048c214ef.


Living in a Digital World

Living in a digital world can be exciting as well as intimidating. It is exciting because everything is literally at our fingertips. However it is intimidating because it feels like corporations are “Big Brother” and they are watching. For example, when I purchase something from Amazon or any other online shop, I immediately see advertisements for similar items or for these same stores or brands in my Facebook feed. It can also be intimidating because anyone can find your address or your phone number through a simple google search. Our digital footprint is also important in our professional lives. In recent years teachers have been fired for things they post in social media about their personal lives or their jobs. Professionals have to be careful about what they post on their social media accounts. 

I recently checked my digital footprint and found that it is clean and semi-professional. When you search my name, most of the results are for class and school websites I have created. My Google+ posts are all related to my EdTech Masters; my Facebook posts are almost entirely personal, but nothing to be ashamed of. My Twitter account was almost unused until I began my EdTech social networking class, so it is mostly professional. I have a LinkedIn account, but other than creating my profile and endorsing people for skills or jobs, it is unused. As far as being confused with other people as sometimes happens on social media, I am the only Kjersti Withers I can find in the world. This is most likely due to my Swedish first name and my English surname. I could probably make it more professional, but I would have to consider how to do that. At least it is reputable.