Recipe for Digital Curation of Your Online Persona

Cartoon headshot of blogger, Sandra Rogers

Have you googled yourself lately? What does the Internet search reveal about you? With each hashtag, blog post, tweet, and online project at a time, you’re building your online reputation whether you want to or not. In the absence of professional branding, your online persona brands you. Curation of our online personal data is more important than ever. This is because our online information and interactions are being used to analyze us for commercial benefit, credit ratings, job selection, relationships, health care decisions, harassment, law enforcement, and machine learning (Matsakis, 2019).

I’m putting together a few basic curation tasks in the ‘recipe’ below for a class lesson. Curation, of course, will take ongoing effort. These are simple actions to get you started.

Tag words from my blog

RECIPE

Curating Your Online Persona 

Time: Ready in minutes based on diversity of digital tools used and length of your digital footprint
Serves: Average technology users
Calories: 0

TIPS

  • Log out of all accounts to fully see information that you publicly shared.
  • Use alphanumericsymbolic passphrases for strong login credentials (e.g., @T!mBuk2B42Long). Create different ones for different types of accounts.
  • Consider the long-term impact of posting or otherwise reacting online.
  • Subscribe to a technical news service that shares how to keep your data safe such as  Mashable, TechCrunch or Wired.

INGREDIENTS

Benevolent Intention
Critical Thinking
Persistence
Relevant Safeguards

PREPARATION

  1. Search for your name on different Internet browsers (e.g., Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari). View at least the first three pages of results to find older accounts that you may have forgotten about and should close.
  2. Use Google’s reverse image search tool to see if your shared photos (e.g., headshot, Facebook profile, or wedding pictures) are used elsewhere without permission. For example, did you know that FB profile photos are publicly available? Anyone could be reusing or repurposing them.
  3. Set short and long-term goals based on your findings and personal insight.

CURATION

  1. Set up a Google Alert on your name to stay informed of its mentions on the Internet.
  2. Cleanse unprofessional social media posts. For example, use GoCardigan to remove retweets and likes on Twitter. Why? Twitter users can delete their own tweets but not their reactions to others.
  3. Close compromised or unused online accounts to safeguard your data and reduce your digital footprint. Review Wikipedia’s list of data breaches. Recheck the list periodically.
  4. Tighten the privacy settings on your social media accounts.

Please share your techniques and issues in safeguarding your online persona. I’ll continue to add to this post as I dive deeper into this topic and as new technologies surface.

Dr. Sandra Annette Rogers


Recommended Readings

Bates, C. (2018). Take charge of your online reputation. Educause. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2018/10/take-charge-of-your-online-reputation

Internet safety and cyber security awareness for college students. (N.D.) Retrieved from https://www.cyberdegrees.org/resources/internet-safety-for-college-students/

Matsakis, L. (2019). The Wired guide to personal data collection. Condé Nast. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/wired-guide-personal-data-collection/

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Join the Educause Games and Learning Book Club Twitter Chat

EverQuestII Paladin character is a human-like female puma in armor at home near Frostfang Sea

I serve on the Educause Games & Learning Steering Committee. One of our new activities is to host book clubs on this topic via Twitter. You do not need to be an Educause member to participate. See my co-committee members invite below.


Please join us for the January Games & Learning Twitter Book Club. This month, we will be discussing Chapter 5: Remodelling Design of Rethinking Gamification (Fuchs, Fizek, Ruffino, & Schrape, 2014). Per the book’s copyright terms, you may download a free digital edition from the publisher’s website: https://meson.press/books/rethinking-gamification/.

As usual, the book club will be hosted on Twitter at 6:30 EST (5:30 CT |4:30 MT |3:30 PT) on Wednesdays. Use the hashtag #read4games to participate.

  • January 16: Why Fun Matters: In Search of Emergent Playful
       Experiences by Sonia Fizek
  • January 23: Exploring the Endgame of Gamification by Scott
    Nicholson
  • January 30: Eudaimonic Design, or: Six Invitations to Rethink
       Gamification by Sebastian Deterding

Please join us!

Tiffany Taylor Attaway

On behalf of the EDUCAUSE Games & Learning Book Club Committee

Tiffany Taylor Attaway, Casey Davis, & Kae Novak

https://sites.google.com/view/educause-glbc/

Facebook is Unsafe

Embed from Getty Images

As an educational technology evangelist at work (school), in my service projects, and research, I keep abreast of the latest technology innovations, instructional integrations, and issues. So when email servers such as Yahoo are hacked, and I am a subscriber, I close my account. Initially, Yahoo stated  1 billion users were hacked in 2013; the latest account states that all accounts were hacked totaling 3 billion (NPR, October 2017).

If you’re a techie, especially someone who promotes the use and safeguards of technology at the workplace, what does it say about you if you’re still using it? For me, it was difficult to close my Yahoo account because it was tied to many professional Yahoo Groups such as my alma mater’s outreach to instructional design alumni and the TESOL Electronic Village Online virtual moderating group of educators for training. I also closed my Tumblr account because Yahoo owns it. To protect our online data, we must take precautions and desist from using potentially dangerous technology even as seemingly mundane as a free email account.

Social media networks such as Facebook are definitely more difficult to stop using when they place user’s data at risk because of the connections we built with friends, family, and organizations. Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, to access the data of 50 million users without their permission (TechCrunch, March 2018). Of particular rancor, besides the possible effect on the 2016 US election, is that Cambridge Analytica was able to access your friends’ and family’s data. This means your use of Facebook could put other people’s data at risk and vice versa! Grandma may be having a great time on Facebook connecting with everyone, but has she configured her settings to safeguard her data?  This year, 50 million Facebook accounts were also hacked  (CNN Business, October 2018).

Facebook is unsafe because of their misuse of our data for financial gain and system vulnerabilities to hackers. Furthermore, they can do better! We should expect more from tech giants especially for platforms that we want grandma to use. I closed my Facebook account in May after downloading all my photos and letting my connections know other ways to reach me. Facebook also owns Instagram, so I closed it, too. No, I don’t plan on going back. Instead, I’m connecting via other means. It has been extremely difficult to not be connected on FB with my friends and family. On the bright side, I’ve noticed I have real conversations with family regarding milestones because, otherwise, I’m out of the loop.

“Facebook can feel relatively benign and passive. It’s a tool we use to procure information, camaraderie or great products. We forget, all too often, that it is a business, with interests and purposes of its own. We forget that it can leverage our information for profit. Its power over our lives is largely hidden under a veneer of passivity and algorithmic detachment (The Washington Post, March 2018). Technology is only useful if it’s consistently helpful, and its misuses are minimalized through rigorous safeguards.

P.S. To keep up with Facebook’s and other sites’ security breaches, see Wikipedia’s List of Data Breaches. It is current.

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What I’m doing to help combat disinformation online

A word cloud based on a blog about fake news detection resources.

I’ve spent a lot of time the past two years reading and figuring out how to use technology and critical thinking to identify false information. I realized that I hadn’t posted anything on my personal blog about it. Instead, I’ve blogged about it on the academic site, the AACE Review. In Navigating Post-Truth Societies, I provided useful strategies, resources, and technologies. For example, if you’re still on Facebook, use Official Media Bias/Fact Check Extension to determine the accuracy of posted articles. In my review of Data & Society’s Dead Reckoning, I summarized why it’s so difficult for humans and machine algorithms to defeat fake news. I also summarized Data & Society’s article on whose manipulating the media and why. Recently, I interviewed the creators of Hoaxy to learn more about their social diffusion network that pinpoints claims posted on Twitter.

Additionally, I’ve been curating useful strategies and technologies for students to use to combat fake news on Scoop.It. The e-magazine is called The Critical Reader. This digital curation has useful videos, articles, games, and technology tools for detecting biased or false information. For example, it describes how the Open Mind Chrome extension not only detects fake news but also provides veritable articles instead. The target audience would be for high school and college students. Let me know if you would like to collaborate on this endeavor.

And last but not least, I spent 2016-2017 searching for the truth about the workings of the Trump administration. I curated these articles on another Scoop.It titled The News We Trust.  Each of these articles, videos, and tweets were evaluated with a critical lens prior to being added to the collection. Evaluation measures used were confirming authenticity, triangulation (e.g., interviews, observations, and documentation) of evidence, relevance, and currency. Many others I read didn’t make it due to biased comments or going off topic. The reason I’m sharing this now is that it’s still useful going forward in our shared effort of maintaining a free democracy.  They can also be useful in the 2018 midterm elections. If you notice any pertinent article missing, send it to me, and I’ll review for consideration.

#fakenews #mediamanipulation #disinformation #hoaxbusters

Guest Blogging for the new AACE Review

A word cloud based on a blog about fake news detection resources.

I’m enjoying the challenge of guest blogging for the Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education’s (AACE) new blog, the AACE Review.  AACE is the professional organization that produces the LearnTechLib database and several educational research journals (i.e., International Journal on e-Learning, Journal of Computers in Math and Science Teaching,  Journal on Online Learning Research). It hosts several educators’ conferences that I like to attend such as the Society for  Information Technology and  Teacher Education (SITE) and the World Conference on eLearning (eLearn). See images of my past involvement with AACE.

So far, I’ve blogged about these educational technology and learning topics:


As for this Teacherrogers blog, I haven’t slowed down on my writing. I recently updated the page on my teaching philosophy, added my research statement, and a page on my Google Map project. These are the static pages at the top of this blog. You may have noticed the new award for landing in the top 75 blogs on Feedspot on the topic of educational technology. I was actually #58! Thanks for reading and sharing my blogs. I’ve been blogging here since 2011, and it serves as my knowledge base that I’m continuously updating, as I learn from and share with educators at my college and peers worldwide.

#AACE #SITE #ELearn #Grit #CALL #EdTech #EduChat #SpeechRecognition #FakeNews #MediaManipulation #Disinformation #hoaxbusters #blogs

Rubric to Evaluate Online Course Syllabi

Getty Images Available for NonCommercial Blogs!

Embed from Getty Images

 

Thank you, Getty, for allowing bloggers to use your images.  We know that blogs with images get more traction on the Web. And of course, images convey meaning, mood, and are a reflection of our taste.  Now I don’t have to scan the web for copyright free  images each time I post a new blog.

I found the photo above on GettyImages.com in search for gaming. There were 15K results.  It was an easy copy and paste task to embed in WordPress. Thank goodness because sometimes widgets and other embed codes don’t work in WordPress. The embed code includes the photo source, which makes it a win-win situation for all concerned.

Now I can find exciting images to replace the same game consul icon I’ve been using for my gaming blog posts.  I know many educators with blogs that will be very happy with this news.  The release of Getty Images has inspired me to add another category to my blog: open education resources.  This is known as OER.  More to come on that topic later.

 

Your blogger,

Sandra Rogers