Developing and Maintaining a Positive Digital Footprint

Your online reputation is your new first impression. No longer are the days where a potential employer or new acquaintance first find out information about you in your initial face-to-face interaction. Your first impression is a Google search away.

A digital footprint is unlike any other footprint known to man. It can be accessed anywhere by anyone, and lasts a lifetime and beyond. One of the unfortunate things about a digital footprint is that the information about you is not always accurate and is often very hard to get rid of.

In order to develop and maintain a positive digital footprint, I recommend the following ten things:

1. Use a search engine such as Google to research information about yourself. Make sure you do multiple searches that includes information from each phase of your life (ie – name & hometown, name & employer, name & school) (Social Networking, n.d)

2. After a general search using Google, log-out of all Social Media sites and search the sites you have a profile on to view what is observable to the public. (Henry, 2012)

3. If you find any information that does not exude the reputation you are looking to have, see what you can do to fix it. This may mean contacting friends or internet sites to get information taken down. (Chandler, 2010)

4. Set strict privacy measures on your social media sites. Only allow your profile to be public if you are only sharing information you want anyone to see. Even if that anyone is an identity thief.  (Shah, 2012)

5. Keep private things private, but assume nothing online is fully private. (Adams, 2013)

6. The internet never forgets. Even though a website may no longer be in service, you can still view cached copies that Google stores long after. (Chandler, 2010)

7. In order for people to find you online, you need to be consistent. Use the same name, email and username in order to continue to build your brand.(Shah, 2012)

8. Buy your domain name. Even if you can’t get your exact name, you can get something close enough that will work. (Henry, 2012)

9. Blog anonymously and vent wisely. If you are going to write unprofessional information online, make sure you are using  (Social Networking & Online Image, n.d)

10. Use the internet to your advantage. Even though things can go wrong, the benefits greatly outweigh the consequences. (Hill, 2014)


Adams, S. (2013, March 14). 6 Steps To Managing Your Online Reputation. Forbes. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from

Chandler, N. (2010, October 5). HowStuffWorks “10 Tips for Maintaining a Professional Image Online”. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from

Henry, A. (2012, November 28). How to Clean Up Your Online Presence and Make a Great First Impression. Lifehacker. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from

Shah, S. (2012, November 8). Build a positive professional online presence – The Times of India. The Times of India. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from

Social Networking. (n.d.). University of Minnesota. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from

Social Networking & Online Image. (n.d.). . Retrieved June 29, 2014, from


Creative Expression of CoP’s, PLN’s, and Connectivism


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Connectivism, Personal Learning Networks, and Communities of Practice are all linked together. They all have to do with learning new information from an outside source you are connected to. Connectivism is the umbrella term, while PLN’s and CoP’s fall under this category of making new connections. Because of the development of technology, these connections are now not limited to physical interactions. These connections are the foundation and link of PLN’s, CoP’s, and Connectivism.


Connectivism Is a proposed learning theory by George Siemens and Stephen Downes that centers around learners constantly making new connections. It is said to be a learning theory for the digital age and Downes believes that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks” (Downes, 2007). However, some believe this “theory” is a tool to be used in the learning process instead of as a standalone learning theory. (Duke, 2013)
Regardless of Connectivism being a theory or not, it is something that is relevant for the digital age. Because of the development of technology, the increase in making new connections is at our fingertips. I believe that Communities of Practice, and Personal Learning Network’s fall under the category of Connectivism.

Communities of Practice

According to Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice (CoP) are a group of people that share a common interest, where all members contribute and put into practice the resources that are shared (Lave, 1998)

With the development of social media, communities of practice have no limit. Before the internet, learners would form these groups with people they had immediate face-to-face access to. This was the only way to communicate and share information. However, communication has evolved. There are now no restrictions to who is in your community.

Personal Learning Network

A Personal Learning Network is much like a CoP in that it is a group of people that someone associates with in order to learn more information about a certain topic. The great thing about PLN’s is that the learner can design their PLN to meet their needs and technology capabilities.


Communities of Practice (Lave and Wenger) | Learning Theories. (n.d.). Learning Theories RSS. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from

Downes, S. (2007, February 3). Half an Hour. : What Connectivism Is. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from

Duke, B., Harper, G., & Johnston, M. (n.d.). Connectivism as a learning theory for the digital age. . Retrieved June 20, 2014, from

Morrison, D. (2013, January 22). How to Create a Robust and Meaningful Personal Learning Network [PLN]. online learning insights. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from

EdTech 543 Initial Post

EdTech 543 – Social Network Learning

One of the first things we had to do for this course is create profiles for Facebook, Twitter, and Diigo. This was not an issue for me, as I have already had personal accounts for Facebook and Twitter, and had to create a Diigo profile from a previous EdTech course. The only platform I do not use unless I have to is Diigo. I just have never been a big fan of it. Although that could be because I have not spent very much time trying to seek all the benefits of it.

Currently, I have a Facebook group for my Leadership class that I use on a weekly basis. This is great because Facebook is one of the few platforms to have a closed group (unlike Twitter). I am also in charge of the twitter feed of our high school baseball team.

In this course, I hope to enhance my use of Twitter in my teaching. I think it is a tool that 90% or more of my students have, and I need to utilize it more.