“Going Viral”

Q: Do you want to have a “personal” presence and a “professional” presence? How will the two differ? If you keep them as one, what are some things you will need to think about as you mediate your online presence?

A: Much effort is put into our appearance and how we seek to be received from others – our clothing, our style, the people we surround ourselves with, etc. We work to create our presence whether it is for our friends, family, or the work place. Web presence is not much different. It is something we can put effort to create. Instead of clothing and style we use graphics, fonts, and other images. Just like we think about the type of person we want to present to the world before revealing ourselves, web presence is also something that we should think through before the great reveal.

Educators need to give thought to the type of web presence they want to establish. We can think of presence as footprints and carbon copies (do they still exist?). To have a personal presence means using the internet for personal social means and outlets. To make things easier I like to think of personal presence as having to do with hobbies, interests, perspectives, and the likes. Professional presence then is the footprints of your professional life. This could look in the form of resumes, LinkedIn, professional website, among others. Professional presence is often more censored than personal presence. As an educator who believes that so much of teaching is relational, I believe in the hybrid of personal and professional. There should be enough personal presence so that I have an identity that people can identify with and find approachable, without divulging too much information. My web presence should make people think I am interesting without thinking that I am interesting.

Q: What expertise do you have to share with the world?

A: I have so much to share with the world! I don’t know if I would call it expertise, but I want to share my belief in community with the world. It wasn’t long ago when people lived in community with one another, but something happened in our society that created a world of separate individuals who do not know how to connect and interact with one another. Many blame technological advancements but the real problem is that no one is taught how to use technology. Does twitter give us an excuse to not have a face to face conversation with one another? Does text messaging replace social relationships? Does Skype take the place of traveling the distance to physically see one another? I celebrate how things have been done in the past but I embrace the changes for the future. I want to share how community can be restored and cultivated through technology.

Q: What types of experts and expertise do you want to connect with?

A: I want to team up with experts of all kinds – who doesn’t like to be surrounded by brilliant people? I still have so much to learn about everything and anything. Being a solid believer of community, it shouldn’t come as a shock that I am also a believer of collaboration. I would like to specifically be connected with people who are using technology and changing the way of English Education in our public schools. I learn for myself but I also learn for my students who deserve the best education.

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