It is a bit of strange situation to be in when you find yourself being both a student and a tutor. This is the second time that I have found myself in this position, first of all when I completed my PGCE and now as part of my Masters degree. Usually I just naturally reflect and respond to my two separate roles (being a tutor means that this way of thinking is ingrained into you). I find that what I learn at university can be applied into my job and vice versa; they mix together quite well as each informs the other.
However, since the start of this project on digital culture I have had to consider my digital identity and how I am represented online. This is an issue for several reasons, the first being that I already have an online presence from previous jobs, such as art exhibitions/competitions and freelance work. This work is also a bit out of date now as I have been teaching for a while and not concentrating on new work for my portfolio. Secondly, as a tutor I have cut down my online usage to the point where I am suspicious about students being able to find me on Facebook or other social platforms. I like my students but I don’t want them knowing everything that I do! Thirdly, it is only since I have started my Masters that I have considered up-skilling and returning to industry. So this module has been the start of an action plan on how to develop myself online.
When I started looking at myself online I had to think about how I would move forward to create a fresh identity that does not have any previous unwanted baggage. How do I present myself as a student and potential employee, but also with lots of experience?
As part of this module I had to Google myself. As I have a very unusual name, I realised that when I search for myself I am the only thing that comes up and that everything I do also appears too. As a result of this search I tried to dis-associate myself from old My Space accounts and an old Twitter account that I set up and did not use, as these were coming up first on my search….not what I wanted! Unfortunately, these processes seem to take a month or so to remove from the internet and are still lingering around as we speak.
Without being too put off, I also tried to manipulate my online identity with a new digital identity AMMEDIACY, an acronym of my name that also happened to be linked to the industry I work with, clever eh?! So I set up new online accounts under this name to see if I could sort my digital identity via Twitter, You Tube etc which I have posted content on, you have probably seen from my previous blog posts? I have LOADS of followers and subscribers, as you can see from below:
I have started to steadily build up an online presence under AMMEDIACY from scratch, I have all of my posts and images appearing in Google searches, but am still a long way off from finding a new identity yet that is exactly as I want it. I have solved my issue of keeping my new project work separate from my teaching, but I still need to find a way to tidy up my online presence up and to link my real-name Google search and AMMEDIACY together to show who I am and what I can offer.
Maybe post-module this will start to come together….but for now I definitely have considered who I am online and crafting it together to form something that could work for me.