In reading about privacy and professionalism in a digital context, I began reflecting on my own digital life, when I made a discovery. I have noticed that some digital tools function well in my private life, and other digital tools function well in my professional life. Have I subtly chosen tools that allow me to keep both lives separate? Here are some examples:
I love Facebook for its ability to keep me connected to family and friends who I am unable to see often. I look forward with great anticipation, to the latest photos my niece posts of her little girl. I keep in touch regularly with friends I knew in high school. My cousins, who I see rarely, send messages back and forth to each other.
I use Twitter primarily as a professional resource. I follow gurus in education, fellow educators I admire, and some sites such as TED, for the most current information.
Though I am relatively new to Pinterest, I have heard that many teachers use it as a digital space to curate all the wonderful teaching ideas they collect when online. I have just begun doing that.
My searches for beautiful, accessible photos on Flickrstorm are mainly used in an educational context.
I have recently signed up for StumbleUpon, which seems similar to Pinterest, but which I have been using for personal interest.
Whether I use these tools for personal or professional purposes, I have tried to be thoughtful and respectful in how I conduct myself online.
“The benefits of online interactions come with responsibilities. Part of being a professional is being aware of these responsibilities and making informed decisions in all practices.” To me, all practices means in my private and professional life.
Harte, H. (2011). E-professionalism for early care and education providers. Dimensions Of Early Childhood, 39(3), 3-10.