On Tuesday, my school had the pleasure of having guest speaker Chris Vollum speak to the students about social media awareness. His message was important for all of us as more and more (and more!) of our lives are shared online. As teachers we need to remind ourselves that in using technology in our classrooms, it is important to teach students how to create online profiles they are proud to show. Chris gave several examples of adults who had lost their jobs for their Twitter posts, and teens who had lost scholarship opportunities, or had been kicked out of school because of what they had posted online. He provided the students with tips and tools on how to remove the things they aren’t proud of online and to rebuild their profile with things they are proud of. He also shared ways to use social media to learn and to engage with those they admire.
I wouldn’t necessarily say I am proud of everything on my online profile, but there isn’t anything I am ashamed of. I have attempted to create two separate profiles, I use Facebook to connect with friends and family, and I use Twitter to connect with other educators and to build my PLN. The challenge is finding time to manage our various profiles and to engage in a way to really benefit from the wealth of information out there. Still a learning process for me, and one I want to share with my students and help guide them to be proud of their online profiles.
Two biggest takeaways from the session:
1) You are what you (and your friends!) post online.
2) You will be Googled – so make yourself AWESOME!