ETL523 – Social media – more than trolling

It has come to my attention that simply following the social media interactions of those whose work I admire, and pinning, liking and occasionally responding, is not really adding sufficient value to my professional digital footprint.

A couple of years ago, I was rather pleased with myself and with the digital tattoo (since it is relatively permanent) that I had created. My digital accounts included:

  • Facebook (personal and professional accounts)
  • LinkdIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Diigo
  • Flickr
  • Instagram
  • a TL Ning
  • Libguides
  • a Blog
  • and in recent weeks I discovered several accounts that I had forgotten were created, because they were only used a handful of times – Scoopit, Tumblr, Wikispaces, to name just a few.

This got me thinking…my digital portfolio fell by the wayside as a result of a move from Education Queensland to private education, other than some simple updates in LinkdIn. As a ‘good’ digital citizen, it seems necessary to maintain a current and relevant digital portfolio in the Cloud. (Several burglaries have forced me to acknowledge the risk of having CVs etc on a device that can be stolen.)

When working with teachers and senior secondary students, how practical and useful would it be if we collaborated to:

  • build and update our digital portfolios annually together?
  • keep track of our digital accounts withinin our portfolios?
  • and create an ‘About Me’ cover page?

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 6.05.42 PMCouros, (2016, March 23).

How wonderfully applicable and real world for students to leave school, not only with these wonderful tools ready to be added to, but to have seen how their teachers have worked to keep their own digital portfolios up to date! From a leadership perspective, teachers and students would be able to learn from each other, as teachers have the opportunity to see what tools their students are using and consider adding these new tools to their portfolio, while demonstrating the development of a working portfolio.

And if teachers and students are working together to create and update their portfolios, build their brand and identify how they want to present themselves, they can have conversations about how digital citizenship is really global citizenship –

  • that our digital presence is simply another aspect of who we are and how we wish to be seen by others, not separate;
  • that our behaviour online and in person should uphold the same values and ethics irrespective of the environment that we find ourselves in;
  • and that we can change any negative impressions from our youth, by creating a multitude of positive footprints/tattoos that outweigh the one or two faux pas.

Richardson (2016, February 16) quotes Baumann’s statement that we belong to a community, but create a network, thus giving us a sense of control. He goes further:

But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face.” 

So perhaps as educators, this is our challenge… to demonstrate to our students and each other, that we can and deserve to use social media to unite with our tribe or tribes, to broaden our horizons and become the change that we wish to see in the world, by continually growing our global citizenship skills, in person and online.


Couros, G. (2016, March 31). Crucial digital citizenship conversations. Retrieved on March 31, 2016 from

Richardson, W. (2016, February 16). social media are a trap. Retrieved on April 2, 2016 from



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