I find that for people in this digital age haphazardly get themselves stuck and because of what they post, text and images they send creates a digital virus for themselves they can’t get out of. I like the term “digital tattoo” because of what a person does electronically, it’s harder for them to erase. I’m still amazed how even teachers get themselves caught up this, especially with their students. Here, at our own school district alone, we had a number of these digital wrong doers getting busted with inappropriate content that resulted in losing their jobs and or incarceration.
Maturity has been my best virtue as well as my saving grace when it comes to my own digital footprint. I became a digital imaging teacher when I was thirty-six years old. I sowed my wild oats all the way into my early thirties and I thank God for the perfect timing because if I was younger it could have been a disaster and my teaching career could have come to an end. That said – I have been very cautious about my digital journey when it came to sticking my neck out into the social network world. As I entered my teaching career it was in the mid-nineties and the only social network I was aware of was BBS, Bulletin Board System. The next decade came with a bang with blogging and social network systems like MySpace and later Facebook. During that time I was very enthusiastic about guitars and guitar playing therefore that was my first experience with a social network system learning, research and contributing to a blog called the LesPaulforum.com . It made quite an impact on me and I learned volumes through this blog. However, due to a series of mishaps with teachers getting reprimanded and even fired for posting things on Facebook I became very anti-social network, no pun intended. Even smart phones and texting was very taboo with my mindset. I became the teacher that taught technology but does not keep up with Jones’ by choice. One thing I have always stressed to my students however, the proper use and etiquette of the technology world. I teach copyright and creative commons within my curriculum, especially the use of the Internet for design concepts and research.
The MET program here at Boise State has exposed me to the world of social networking for instruction and a better ways to teach using such systems. It has been an empowering two years. I have incorporated WordPress and digital stories within the courses that I teach. Recently, I have been recognized by our principal as having a class that fits the quadrant–four-environment model. As we come into the common core arena it has been suggested by the administration that what we in the technology department models this type of learning, which I consider as a constructivist type of a learning environment.
I now have a following of learners that visit my YouTube page for tutorials teaching graphic design and the popular programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I have been weaned on these systems presently through the EdTech program and it has made my world of teaching a rewarding experience because of the success it has brought me as well as my students. Now that I have shed my cloak for this course I now am coming full circle with all the Web 2.0 tools for teaching and learning. In conclusion, if I were to type my name on the any search engine you would find many Portuguese and Brazilians with the same name. Some are criminals and some are bathing suit models. I would hope to see that my digital footprint would be very transparent and it would consist of: past graphic design logos and imagery I’ve designed; my design company, a high school graphics teacher linked in to music, guitars, teaching, and learning tutorials through YouTube. Any of my political stances is under an AKA name that one could hopefully not recognize me. Even though I voice my political stance I’m still very conservative of what I say. Below is one of my YouTube tutorials I did for my class and for my students. The subject is my daughter that gladly accepted the Andy Warhol tutorial role.