Taking Control of Your Online Identity

Assigned blog post: Spend some time exploring twitter and reflecting on the Twitter chat. Write a blog post about your thoughts on Twitter in the classroom or as a professional development tool.  If you already use Twitter, talk about how you use it. If you’ve just started using it, think about what Twitter might look like in the classroom. Talk about your experience in Saskedchat – what did you think of this type of professional development experience? (Note: this is a pretty wide topic. Take it in a direction that interests you. If you hate Twitter, tell us, but tell us why!)

I was introduced to Twitter by my dad when I got my first phone at 16 years old. My dad is a principal and has gone to several conferences about using technology as a tool and creating your online identity. He suggested that I should get it so I would be able to control my online image because it was not that great. It was nothing that I had specifically done, in fact, the only things that actually came up that were about me were my hockey and track and field stats, but, the people I interacted with on Facebook, Instagram, or Ask.fm didn’t have the greatest online presence so a google search on the very unique name Jessalyn Shwaga resulted in some of their posts. This made me look very bad even though I had nothing to do with them other than them being my friends. So I decided to have more of an online presence to try and fix that.

Eventually, something very weird happened and my account literally merged with some random lady who worked for Coca-Cola. I have absolutely NO idea how it happened. When I would log in with my username and password it would take me to the dashboard of someone named Beatrice Perez, I could even tweet as her. This freaked me out a bit so I completely re-did my account. I haven’t had the opportunity to use it much because not many of my friends use it so I simply haven’t bothered. Now that I have a reason now, I may get into it a bit more.

My dad did a walk across the province to raise money for Huntington’s Disease, he mainly used Twitter to advertise what he was doing. I helped him out with this walk and my name was mentioned in several articles over the summer. Now when you google my name my help for this charity comes up instead of the odd things that my friends post. As a result of this, I am a firm believer in using technology to control your online image and as a professional development tool. Don’t shy away from using social media in fear of having a bad image, because as I learned, it can happy anyway because of others, so instead use it to talk about all the great things you are involved in. Use your online platforms to brag a little bit, there’s nothing wrong with that either! Most employers will do what’s called a vanity check on you before hiring you, so you better make sure that they see everything you want them to see.

Now I am pretty proud of my online identity.  It shows that I am fighting against the disease my grandma died of and it also shows all of the sports I have played over the years. It really is neat to look back at my cross country stats from when I was in grade 9. If you have the time I really do suggest doing a vanity search on yourself, it can tell you a lot of things.

In the classroom, I see Twitter as a resource for teachers and maybe even students. I had no idea that there was such a huge online community for teachers in Saskatchewan on Twitter. If I were to use it in a classroom I would use it to connect with other Saskatchewan teachers and form relationships with them. It is really cool to know that you can form a relationship with a complete stranger and you can support each other throughout your separate but now intertwined lives as teachers.


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