Thursday, January 5, 2012

Protecting your online reputation

Back in November Joyce Valenza wrote about protecting your online reputation.  An infographic from Mashable shows why it is so important to pay attention to how you "look" online--78% of employers these days check out candidates online.  An poorly worded Tweet or an inappropriate Facebook posting can cost a job.

But are we as educators doing enough to help our students understand this concept of an online reputation?  I don't think so--especially when we can't even access most social media sites from school.  This line from Joyce's blog says it best: "Are there ways we can balance student safety with publishing student work so that our students, in turn, can balance those party shots with their best digital stories, science projects, and IB papers?"

Our district is adopting an inhouse site to house wiki's, forums and blogs for students so they can get the experience of using those tools and still be safe online, especially the little ones.  But I find at the high school, most students have all ready started using Wikispaces, Blogger or some other public site and they find the inhouse site too restrictive.  And don't we want them to have a public persona online?  As Joyce said, we want them to be able to display their best work for future colleges and employers to easily access.

For now I guess the best thing we can do is keep teaching our students to think before they post or Tweet....those party pictures may come back to haunt them at a most inopportune time!

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