Week ones topic prompted us to explore our personal Digital Worlds as a student and also our future professional Digital Worlds after we graduate. We looked at our Digital Identities and how we present ourselves online as well as aspects of control and development of our online presence.
When confronted with the task of looking at my daily technology use, I realised that I am consumed by it. I use it as a student, as an employee and as an individual. Digital technologies are redesigning the way we learn, communicate and work. I have evolved with technology and looking back to my past primary school education, the use of encyclopedias, pens and paper to complete tasks was the standard. Today, students can type words into a search engine and be presented with endless information within seconds. We are spending more and more time online and this week’s second topic introduced me to the idea of Digital Identity. This challenged my current ideas about identity, prompted me to view them as separate entities (Digital and Physical) and explore the relationship between the two. Your Digital Identity is made up of information and data that you present online about yourself. It can include email, usernames and passwords, personal data, identifiers, photographs and online contributions. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, have a significant role in forming and presenting your personal digital identity to the world online.
IN THE CLASSROOM
After researching and discussing this topic, I believe it to be important to teach students in the classroom how to safely interact online using managed digital identities and protect the students from unsuitable content in the Digital World. Students are asked to regularly participate in online learning and need to be educated on how to manage their personal information in different contexts to prevent vulnerability. Teachers should also be aware of trending sites and content that needs to be blocked from the computers and Wi-Fi connection. Students should be taught that people might make judgements about them when searching them online from the information they provide. Without meeting in person, future employers, potential partners and other people can make assessments about them and it can affect their physical lives as well as their digital ones.
Education Queensland refers to the potential risks that can occur when having an Digital Identity as the four ‘Cs’:
- Content: this is content that may be unsuitable for viewers or potentially illegal, offensive or pirated content.
- Contact: this may be unwelcome or inappropriate contact such as harassment or sexual contact.
- Conduct: this could be as a recipient or as an active participant, giving out too much personal information or the bullying or harassment of another person.
- Commerce: this could be methods of identity theft, violation of privacy, collection of personal information used by companies, impersonation or bank fraud.
A good rule for students is to think before they post. Students should be aware that there are consequences for online behaviour and their posts or comments not only affect them, but other people too. This rule also applies to teachers. I have found these ethical and controversial questions are commonly asked such as ‘should teachers accept friend requests from students on Facebook?’ ‘Should teachers statuses and photos be scrutinised and have consequences in their professional teaching lives?’ I learned the importance of privacy a few years ago when some student found my Facebook profile and could see my information and photos. Since that day, I am aware of my privacy and continuously develop and adjust my Digital Identity accordingly.
MY MIND MAP OF REGULAR TECHNOLOGY USE
MANAGING YOUR DIGITAL IDENTITY
Australian Communications and Media Authority, (2013). Digital footprints and identities research – community attitudinal research. Melb. VIC: ACMA. Retrieved from: http://www.acma.gov.au/~/media/Regulatory%20Frameworks