AASL Learning Standards1.3.5 Use information technology responsibly. 1.4.4 Seek appropriate help when it is needed. 2.3.1 Connect understanding to the real world. 3.1.6 Use information and technology ethically and responsibly. 3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners. 3.1.5 Connect learning to community issues. 3.3.2 Respect the differing interests and experiences of others, and seek a variety of viewpoints.
In a school setting the reputations of teachers and students are at stake. The Internet provides wonderful resources for each user—but there are some dangers users (like teachers and students) must observe. Online publishing offers a way for people to express themselves artistically; it also offers a way to communicate with others your opinion, or just purely a way to communicate. Networking allows one to meet others like themselves, and could be a great way to meet potential employers or “someone who knows someone” about job or school opportunities.
Online publishing/networking can also change your life drastically—in negative ways. Rumors, gossip, “bad press,” can cost someone their job, a scholarship, or even the cost of losing a relationship with someone important.
We might feel as though our personal lives are completely separate from our professional lives, but when it comes to the online world, the lines between the personal and professional lines begin to blur. Teaching is a certainly a profession where reputation is valuable. What we say, do, and create online can forever “haunt” you. Be aware of your online movements and decisions.
With these opportunities available, professionals must exercise caution. As Ben Franklin once said “it takes many good deeds to build a good quotefrom Mr. Franklin. It takes several months, even years, to establish a working and respectful reputation amongst colleagues and employers. It is now commonplace for employers to search the Web looking for red flags on potential employees
Ask the audience: Are you surprised by this number? Is it more or less than what you expected?
This is not meant to scare you, but to rather be an online “wake-up call.”
Essentially, the new “resume” is the online search that produces your name and the findings of your name. What will we see about you? Would you be embarrassed for us to see this information?
1). Create your own profile before someone else does. Jumpstart the process and an “unwanted” profile will be less likely to pop up. 2). Try Googling your name and see what the results produce. Discover if the information would be valuable or detrimental. 3. Each post, blog, or pictures (remember, pictures speak volumes), can bring much attention, both good and bad. Be selective about your postings.
4). Use the social networking privacy options. Only “friend” people whom you trust or know well. As a teacher, it may not be a good idea to “friend” a student. Check with your school policy and administrator for policies. 5). Being proactive means that you actively complete items 1-4, and that you are aware of the possibilities of an online attack to your name.
It is our responsibility to teach proper online behavior and procedure. We use the Web in school on a regular basis. It is a tool we utilized to make our classrooms more connected and current. Why should we expect student to know how to use this tool effectively on their own, with no guidance?
First, begin a conversation. Ask your students their perceptions of their online profiles. What do they expect to gain from online publishing/networking? Are they pleased with how their online experiences are going? What would they change? What mistakes have they made? Ask the, would you share what you’ve written, posted or created with a future employer or college/university?
Students often fail to realize that everyone leaves a cyber footprint. Posting inappropriate words or pictures can be traced back to the original computer, leaving students to deal with repercussions on their reputations and their educational careers.
The opportunities that social networking/publishing brings, can also bring trouble. Most schools work under a zero-tolerance plan—especially when it comes to “cyber-bullying.” Threats, negative words and malicious gossip meant to harm can lead to a destructive path for both the bully and the victim. Many students do not know what to do when these situations occur, and have often experienced both sides—being the bully and the bullied.Once again, open the conversation in the classroom. The tips above suggest a few “calm-down” methods—ways to avoid conflicts if possible.
Talking about alternative actions give students a “way out” of the situation. The guidance you give may help diffuse potential disaster reputation/bullying problems.
Students also need to understand that their actions in their teens can affect their future. “A recent University of Massachusetts Dartmouth study revealed that 23 percent of college admissions offices use search engines like Google to research students before even considering them as acceptable candidates” (“Student Online Reputation”). Furthermore, “managing online reputations is just as important for those under 30 as it is for those over 30” (“Student Online Reputation”). Numbers may not mean much to students; if possible relay real-life stories about how the Web has actually impeded one to make a educational or career move.
As an educator, you must give students tips to proceed safely on the Web. Here are a few tips from the book Internet Safety: “Be Careful: You should never post personal information like your phone number, address, school, or where you regularlyhang out” 5). “Be Real: Use common sense and think about what behavior is acceptable” (Mitchell and Massar 17).
2). “Be Skeptical: We may have an idea of who someone is or why they’re messaging us, but the truth is, when we’re online we should be a little more skeptical…only add people as friends if you are comfortable with them seeing your profile”
3). “Be Picky: Once you post something online it can live in Cyberspace forever. Before you post an image or comment, take a minute to consider if it’s something that might haunt you in a few years”
4). “Be a Good Online Citizen: If you see hate speech or inappropriate content, or if you’re being harassed by another user, talk to your parents or [teachers] and report it immediately.”
5). “Be Real: Use common sense and think about what behavior is acceptable” (Mitchell and Massar 17). Discuss all of the above traits often. Remind students that this is something in their lives that they can control.
In closing, we should all be aware of our online movements and decisions. It’s easy to post something and believe that it is small and insignificant—and will not affect us in “real life.” Regardless of who you are, “negative comments and [online mistakes] can spread quickly beyond your personal network to damage your life or your career. It’s your reputation. Better to be in control” (Bernstein).
Online Reputations Golden or Tarnished Reputations for Teachers & Students?
Online publishing can lead to… http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikegk/3063387240/
“Did you ever ‘Google’ yourself and find something negative? It should worry you. Just one negative posting can cost you a job” "How to Protect, Fix Your Online Reputation ." The Early Show. CBS News, 10 Jan. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2010.
“It’s estimated that more than 70 percent of employers do a Web search on job applicants as part of their hiring procedures…
“More than half of them admit to not bringing someone on board because of negative information they found online” (“How to Protect, Fix Your Online Reputation”).
TIPS 1). Create Your Own Profile 2). Google Yourself 3). Choose your words carefully
4). Keep Social Networks Private 5). Be Proactive "100 Tips, Tools, and Resources to Protect Your Online Reputation." Masters in Criminal Justice . N.p., 11 Feb. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2010
Students: How to prepare them… to post and reply responsibly
“What does your Facebook say about ‘YOU?’” Cooper, Lauren. "Protecting Your Online Reputation ." Young Money. Young Money Media, LLC , 11 May 2007. Web. 9 Mar. 2010. Cooper, Lauren. "Protecting Your Online Reputation ." Young Money. Young Money Media, LLC , 11 May 2007. Web. 9 Mar. 2010.
Cyber-bullying “If you’re really angry, take a break. Don’t respond to mean online comments. Instead find a way to calm down so you don’t do anything you might later regret”Allman, Toney. Mean Behind the Screen: What you Need to Know about Cyberbullying. Mankato: Compass Point Books , 2009. Print.
Allman, Toney. Mean Behind the Screen: What you Need to Know about Cyberbullying. Mankato: Compass Point Books , 2009. Print. “Phone a friend, take a bath, or go shoot some hoops. Don’t get involved in cyber-bullying. Remember, a bully often becomes a target later on. What goes around could easily come back to you .”
“It’s your reputation. Better to be in control” Bernstein, Jon. "How to Save Your Online Reputation ." BNET Crash Course . N.p., 6 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2010.
Resources "100 Tips, Tools, and Resources to Protect Your Online Reputation." Masters in Criminal Justice . N.p., 11 Feb. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2010. Allman, Toney. Mean Behind the Screen: What you Need to Know about Cyberbullying. Mankato: Compass Point Books , 2009. Print. Bernstein, Jon. "How to Save Your Online Reputation ." BNET Crash Course . N.p., 6 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2010. Cooper, Lauren. "Protecting Your Online Reputation ." Young Money. Young Money Media, LLC , 11 May 2007. Web. 9 Mar. 2010. "How to Protect, Fix Your Online Reputation ." The Early Show. CBS News, 10 Jan. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2010. Mitchell Haugen, Hayley, and Susan Musser. Internet Safety . Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Print.