Have you ever Googled yourself?
I am a Rugby League player, a carpenter on a home renovation show, a 21 year old who has just been arrested for heinous crimes and a sales engineer in California. Of course I am none of these, but just a humble teacher from New Zealand living and working in China.
I was at a conference several years ago and a speaker posed the thought that at the start of the digital age, smart employers might search for your online presence to check your moral character and be happy to find nothing, but now in the 21st century with everyone having such an online lifestyle, employers could find it more worrying if the searched for you online and found nothing – ‘What are they trying to hide?’.
That thought, wether it is true or not, got me thinking. How can I teach my students to be digital citizens who make well thought out choices about what they say and post online if I do not model my own digital life. This was when I came up with the spoonerism Dukelyer; search for it in Google and you will find only me and you will have a window into my life, not the life of an engineer or a sportsman.
My Blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud and Vimeo all appear when you google Dukelyer and colleagues, my students and their parents are aware. They know that I write about what we do in class, share the successes and failures. Through a name unique to you, you get see the thread of what you have shared around the world.
Sharing openly not only proves to your students that you are a digital citizen, but can help others in ways you would never contemplate. The other day I was Googling for images of my classes to show a colleague and I followed a link to discover that Erin Klein (@ErinKlein) had used a photo of my classroom that I had shared on my Flicker account under a creative commons license. She modified it, added writing and used it to make a banner for a project blog she had created. She had given me photo credits, which was all I had asked for. It was sharing at its best and would not have happened if I had not taken the time to share what was going on in my class.
I still have a private life on line. My Instagram is a photo blog of my life, both school andhome, and it is open to all who wish to see. I must admit this is my favourite form of social media at the moment and my goal is to tag my Instagram world map with my adventures. I have Facebook, but it is on the highest security settings and I read it each morning as if it is a personal online newsletter about my friends. I do get Facebook friend requests from students and I decline them and politely let the student know that I have done so the next time I see them and why.
I guess what I am getting at, the crux of this post is to try and get others to think of their visibility online. We share, but do we share enough? Do we share to all or just to some? Just think, what do I do and how do I share it?