EdTech 543: 10 Tips to Create a Positive Digital Footprint


Image created by Ally Gilin using canva.com

I have had some sort of presence on social media for over a decade, but as I have “grown up” I have definitely become more aware of what I am posting online, especially as an educator. What I post, share in terms of pictures comments, who I follow, etc. all say something about who I am. Although I found multiple helpful tips when researching, I narrowed it down to a shortened list. Above are the 10 tips that I found most important for creating a positive digital footprint. I really enjoyed designing this graphic using Canva.

My hope is that young adults and professionals realize the importance of creating a positive online presence at an early age. I hope my students realize that what may seem “funny” or get the most likes or favorites doesn’t always mean it’s the right thing to post. One post could jeopardize your future – scholarships, job opportunities, and your personal brand image in general. It could also hurt someone’s feelings. Like it or not, our perceptions are heavily reliant on what we see online. Follow these 10 tips and you will be well on your way to creating a positive digital footprint!

EdTech 543: My Digital Footprint

A digital footprint is a trace that you leave by what you post, share, search, and discuss on the Internet or social media. I think this is a great topic that needs to be discussed more often, especially with teens and young adults. As a marketing teacher, my students and I frequently discuss a company’s brand image and this is exactly the same as our own personal brand image. It is easy to post something that will end up being a regret. We see this with celebrities all the time! Although all of my social media accounts are private (except my teacher Twitter) I am still very careful as to what I post, even on my personal accounts. With today’s technology, a screen shot of a post could mean the end of your career, especially in the education world. Digital footprints are unavoidable and it is important to understand that even if you delete something, chances are someone saw it.

I believe that digital footprint also says a lot about you and the type of person that you are. Meaning to or not, we are constantly “judging” people by that they post through pictures and words and I would never want to give someone mixed ideas about the person that I really am. We have all heard the stories where student-athletes have lost scholarships for something that they have posted or people who have lost jobs because of similar posts. As professionals, we should be portraying ourselves as such. Many company’s first search is your name to see what type of results that they get. It only takes one iffy post for them to move on to the next job applicant.

This was not the first time that I have Googled myself. I was happy to see that the search still produced uneventful results. The first thing that shows up is my personal Twitter account. Then my LinkedIn page, learning log for Boise State, Google + account, and some YouTube videos I have made for grad assignments. Other results included links to things that I was involved in during high school or college such as athletics and activities and past results or awards. I also checked out the images to see what showed up. A few of my profile pictures and images from EdTech posts came up.

I am pleased to see that the Google results are things that I would not mind anyone¬† seeing. It is so important that we constantly thinking before we post something. You never know who is looking or who someone knows. When in doubt, don’t post. It’s not worth the negative life image for 140 characters that you thought was going to be a good post.


Image courtesy of Flickr user Paul McClay.

EdTech 543: Tweet Deck Hashtags

gilin-tweet-deckI really enjoyed exploring and becoming more comfortable with the features of Tweet Deck and searching for hashtags that would benefit my content area. There were many great hashtags that I explored, but decided on the following 5 as the winners. #edtech #busedchat #pbl #deca and #marketing

I have learned a lot by reading the posts in these categories and had a hard time keeping up, as many are updated every second with something new! 3 things that I learned while exploring the hashtags are:

  1. I learned that there are lots of great resources and class conversation starters in the #busedchat section that I had no idea existed. Many Tweets related directly to current business events happening in the real world! I also learned about edpuzzle.com which allows you to create videos for class and add notes and questions along the way. This will be a cool resources to bring more technology into the classroom.
  2. I learned that looking at specific hashtags can take you to resourceful articles such as What Students Really Remember Learning in School from the #pbl category. This insightful article discusses that the things students remember are the ones that are meaningful and aren’t just strictly memorization, but rather, have application to real life. This is something good to remember and implement in my own classroom.
  3. Finally, I learned about a great resource to follow @MarketingResul2 that tweets daily tips, articles, and infographics that relate to marketing! I can’t wait to use this as a resource in my classroom and share some of these tweets with my students!

I love the idea of using Twitter as professional development. It is convenient, easy to navigate, I can search for exactly what I’m looking for through popular hashtags, all while connecting with different users across the globe! I also like that it is on my own time. I can do it whenever I want and some sort of information will always be there! Another great thing about using Twitter for professional development is that it is current and updating every second! How awesome! Finally, I love that everything is limited to 140 characters. This allows you to decide quickly if it is something that your are interested in reading more about or if you are going to pass it by, which is a huge time saver for the busy teacher! I am looking forward to exploring the hashtags that I have chosen and utilizing Tweet Deck to keep up!

EdTech 543: Creative Expression of CoP, PLN, & Connectivism


I really enjoyed creating a nonlinguistical image for Community of Practice (CoP), Personal Learning Network (PLN), and Connectivism. It helped me to realize that even though these three are independent concepts, they are all connected in some way.

CoP: A community of practice is defined as “learning that occurs in social contexts that emerge and evolve when people who have common goals interact as they strive towards those goals” (Shin & Bickel, 2008). In the top, grey section of my nonlinguistic image, this is displayed by showing different people coming together through ideas and common goals.

PLN: A personal learning network is described as a personalized group of “fellow educators and resources who are designed to make them a better teacher. This network exists both in their real-life relationships and online through their social media connections” (Catapano, n.d. para. 1). This is displayed in the bottom right, light green section of my nonlinguistic image. There are several social media platforms displayed as well as Google, email, blogs, Skype, etc. These forms of digital communication make connection, collaboration, and the sharing of resources possible across the globe.

Connectivism: The learning theory of connectivism explains how “Internet technologies have created new opportunities for people to learn and share information across the World Wide Web and among themselves” (Siemens, 2005). This can be accomplished through numerous Web 2.0 technologies and social media platforms such as blogs, email, Web sites, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Wikis, discussion forums, etc. My image of connectivism can be found in the bottom left, blue box. It shows a connection through technology across the world through these types of social networks. It allows users to be connected to people they may not necessarily know, but share common goals or subject interest.

These three concepts are great on their own, but even more powerful as they are connected together. To display this, I added a continuous arrow connecting the images of CoP, PLN, and connectivism to a target. This shows that the goal is the main purpose, but all parts need to work together in order for all parties to benefit and grow.


Catapano, J. (n.d.). What is a pnl? Why do i need one? Teacher Hub. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/what-pln-why-do-i-need-one.

Shin & Bickel (2008) – in Chris Kimble and Paul Hildreth (2008). Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators. Information Age Publishing. ISBN 1593118635. Retrieved from http://www.innovativelearning.com/teaching/communities_of_practice.html.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), 3-10. Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/connectivism-siemens-downes.html