Digital-Age Citizenship and Responsibility: Examining My Social Media Presence

One of the goals for my Tech and Innovation Class was to learn digital-age citizenship and responsibility. I decided to meet this goal by thinking more in depth about my social media presence. I’ve worked or volunteered with children and family for most of my life, so I’ve always tried to be intentional about what I post online. As I now pursue a career in teaching, I want to make conscious decisions about how much of my personal life I want to share. I also want to consider the privacy of my friends and family.

I’ve outlined the decision I made for each social media platform I use below.

Instagram

Since I often share photos of loved ones and family members on Instagram, I decided it would be a good idea to privatize it. I was surprised that I actually encountered problems trying to adjust my privacy setting on my laptop. In the end, I wound up following this guide for changing your account privacy settings on your phone.

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Facebook

Since I also tend to share personal photos on Facebook, I decided to increase the privacy settings on my account. I also removed the option for my name to come up on search engines outside of Facebook, since I would rather future employers encounter my professional web presence before they came across my personal web presence.

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As you can see in the screenshots below, the first thing that comes up when you search my name is my Facebook Page, and my Instagram account isn’t far below. I would rather potential students and employers encounter my work with UVic’s Maker Lab and the articles I published in UVic’s newspaper (The Martlet) than start flipping through my personal photos.

*Several of the search results for my name also bring up another Katherine Goertz (LinkedIn, SPAN, MinnPost)

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I’ve also been attempting to remove individuals who I no longer remember/know from my list of friends. This has been a bit of a difficult task because 1) I used to be a camp counsellor and accepted most of the friend requests of former campers. 2) I used to be a regular contributor on a pop culture blog and used Facebook to make connections/advertise my blog posts. This particular part of my project will have to be ongoing.

Twitter

I’ve only rarely used Twitter in the past. My main use for it was to tweet out funny quotes from/my thoughts on a current TV show or Movie I was watching. I also used it to tweet out links for the blog I used to write for. I never found Twitter very useful; not until I was in the education program, that is. Twitter is an incredible resource for educators because it connects us so easily using a variety of ed. focused hashtags.

Once I started using Twitter as an educator-in-training, I wondered if I should purge my account of my personal opinions and non-professional tweets. However, Valerie told us about a study that compared professor’s Twitter accounts that were purely professional vs. those that mixed personal and professional tweets. According to the study, profiles that mixed professional with personal were generally perceived as more reliable. As this article by Business Grow explains,

At its heart, Twitter is a business networking tool … which is what many companies and individuals don’t understand. They view the platform as just another way to broadcast company press releases. By trying to force-fit old “broadcast” media thinking into this new platform they are sub-optimizing Twitter at best and hurting their brand at worst.

Think of yourself in another networking situation … say an industry conference or a chamber of commerce meeting. Would you stand there and read press releases? No, of course not. You would seek out great people to connect with, discuss subjects that are interesting to you and them, and look for ways to work together. Twitter can work exactly the same way.

However, the expectations university students might have for their professor could be considerably different from the expectations parents might have for a teacher. The majority of my personal tweets are about a) politics or b) TV shows. Is it possible a parent could complain to administration about my taste in television or political opinions?

I still do plan to integrate some of my personal opinion with my professional tweets. However, I’m going to be thinking more in depth about what kind of personal opinions I share on twitter. I’ve already gone through my Twitter account to make sure I’ve never posted anything overtly offensive in the past, but I plan to continue checking in with parents and coworkers as I continue in the program and keep the question of “what should I post?” present in my mind.

 

Useful Tech Tools Presented by (and for) #edci336

I’m planning to update this list of tweets as my cohort presents the helpful tech tools that they’ve personally researched. Please let me know if you’ve tweeted out a tool that I should include!

Introducing My Cohort to Makey Makey

Recently, we each chose a different tech tool to share with our cohort for our Tech and Innovation class. I already own a Makey Makey (I purchased it to use as a teaching tool the summer I led the Summer Reading Club at the Williams Lake Library), so I decided bring it into class so my peers could see how easy it is to use.

I used the piano interface on the Makey Makey website, to show my cohort one simple way they could use Makey Makey to introduce kids to basic concepts of electricity, like conductivity and connecting a circuit.

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They also linked hands to see how long they could make their circuit. As you can see in the photo below, one person held the grounding wire while the person at the other end of the circle played the keys.

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Piano playing teamwork!

Makey Makey also includes several lesson plans (with grade suggestions) and hosts several scratch games on their website that all work with the Makey Makey. They also have a video guide section that shows some creative alternative ways it has been used.

Brainstorming a Passion Project

When the “Passion Project” was introduced in my Tech and Innovation class, the first thing to pop into my head was, “Hey, I should write a math song”. This probably came to mind because I was terrible at math as a kid. Even as an adult, I’m still unable to recite several of my times tables. In contrast, I can easily sing along with every song on the radio (even when I don’t actually like the song). A little bit of melody goes a long way in helping me memorize, so I thought it might be a nice resource to have for future students. I also play a little guitar and piano, and enjoy singing, so I thought it might be a nice way to use a hobby to create a resource for later.

I began to second guess this idea after considering how much math pedagogy has shifted over the last few decades. When I was a child, basic math skills were still taught through memorization, but now there are a wealth of videos available on youtube that provide helpful “tricks” for students working on those early skills. These tutorials prompt kids to think more about the concepts behind multiplication, rather than teaching the answer without any outside context. I’ve included an example below.

While I haven’t entirely set aside the idea of doing something musical for my passion project, I recently started to consider some other resources that might be worth learning. In particular, introductory coding games like Tynker or Swift Playground. While I don’t actually own an iPad, I’ve been investigating similar programs that I could access on my laptop.

This week I focused on brainstorming for my passion project. For the most part, this didn’t really go beyond perusing what kind of resources already existed and considering what might still be worth adding to my “backpack” as an educator. My goal for next week is to choose a specific direction for my passion project and then outline several project goals in my next blog post.