ePortfolios Viewed: https://alyssakbrown.com/, https://matthewbsanders.com/,https://jmjohnso.squarespace.com/, https://jmjohnso.squarespace.com/, http://mcclurken.org/
Articles Read: https://seths.blog/2009/02/personal-branding-in-the-age-of-google/, http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2007/09/07/controlling_you.html, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/who-owns-the-digital-you_b_789348
From reading the websites mentioned above, I learned a few things about my own digital presence. Seth’s blog I feel was very relevant to us, as we all can benefit from the words “Google never forgets.” In a world that revolves around the Internet, the sharing of information online at our fingertips is such a gift. However, many people turn the Internet into their personal diary which can have ramifications on both their personal life and their careers. (Inspired by this, I Googled my own name, but I was safely hidden under a more famous Logan Kurtz who is an entrepreneur with his own Wikipedia page. Ouch.) I placed some examples of what came up of me on a simple Google search, and I recommend you do the same; it is interesting.
From looking at the ePortfolios, I have also learned that having an ePortfolio is an important aspect of having a control of your own narrative. My current stake on the Google feed is very little, buried underneath a bunch of guys named Logan Kurtz. However, a webpage exemplifying my accomplishments and information would allow me to control how I am seen directly. I really like how Alyssa Brown’s website presented herself. She was able to display a dynamic image of herself, and prioritize her important information without making users navigate for it. A counter-example is Jessica Marie Johnson’s page (no shade to her). Her homepage is a large menu that does not provide any information about why someone should care to navigate through all of the pages.
By looking at the ePortfolios, I have also learned that having a functional and presentable website is important to your image. On Dr. McClurcken’s page, there were no broken links, and I did not see any faulty website functionality or grammar on any of the pages. I did not realize how important it was for a professional presentation of one’s self until I was going through and
judging learning from them.
From the Controlling Your Public Appearance article, I learned the importance of not only having an online presence, but having a positive one. I had thought that the best approach for my profession (as I want to be a teacher) is to remain off the radar, post under a pseudonym and never be engaged and active online. However, fostering an online identity is very useful, and is a tactic I am seeing a lot more teachers use nowadays to share what is happening in their classrooms. This transparency is useful for both employers and families, and even students themselves.
I have also learned from the Huffpost website that the saying that nothing in life is truly free is…true. To quote them as the author sums this up pretty well, “. . .the central business model of most of the information marketplace right now is about offering you ‘free’ services in exchange for information, giving up what was formerly nobody’s business but your own.” This article made me think of the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma. If you haven’t seen it, it basically explores some of the potential dangers of this information gathering.