So who is Erin Wiley online? Well if you google Erin Wiley, both in the “all” search and the “image” google search, you will not find me specifically on the first page. You will find a doctor, actress, and a lawyer, but not teacher Erin Wiley. You will find my husband’s second cousin, also Erin Wiley, but not me. So unless you add other factors into your search you will have to spend more time searching to figure me out.
results of my google search
I have an online presence on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. My Twitter and Pinterest are public, but I keep my Facebook and Instagram set to private. If someone got access to those it wouldn’t be a big deal, I’m not worried about content. However, I don’t feel like I need to share my private life so openly with anyway who happens upon my account. This also keeps my students from adding me on Facebook and Instagram. I like to keep school and home separate, otherwise I feel like I am always “Mrs. Wiley” rather than Erin Wiley. With social media I know teachers who have families from their school on social media, but I just don’t feel comfortable with that. Just like if I am going to the beach or a swimming pool, I don’t feel that comfortable being in a bathing suit around students even though what I am wearing isn’t scandalous.
When I am on my own time I prefer to not wear my “teacher hat” and just be me, so when it comes to social media I prefer to keep my more personal accounts private and only my professional accounts public. I use Facebook mainly to keep in touch with family and friends. I am part of some PLN teacher groups on Facebook, but still only my Facebook friends will see my personal information. My Twitter account is more so professional. I use my Instagram account primarily professionally and although it used to be public it is now set to private. I had some issues with spam and inappropriate accounts trying to comment or send me messages, so I changed it to a private account to try and reduce/eliminate this. For Pinterest I have a mix of professional and private, pinning things like teaching ideas and recipes for home.
When I first joined social media I wasn’t as choosy with what I posted or liked. Now as an educator I am definitely more selective online. Teachers often feel under a microscope. Having the profession we are expected to be role models both in and outside of school, including online. Even at staff meetings we get told from STF teacher representatives to be careful about our online activities. Sometimes online people will tag you to content or add you to groups. What I find difficult is when people add me to groups or tag me to content that I may not approve of or could be interpreted negatively. Although I can remove myself, I still need to be aware that I’ve been added or tagged.
I think that it is important to be aware of our actions online and try to leave a positive digital footprint. Our online presence can sometimes be the first impression people have of us and we would want people to get a positive first impression. If people find the actual me online I want them to see me in a positive light and be seen as the best version of myself. With this in mind I think it’s important to help students to build a positive digital footprint too.
Digital Identity and My Major Project:
On another note, part of my online identity now includes being a Seesaw Ambassador. After learning that Seesaw still had open applications to be ambassadors I decided to apply. Using Seesaw with my students and as part of my project I decided that I wanted to take my own Seesaw journey to the next level. After applying I was provisionally accepted because of how I have been using Seesaw. Then once I completed the three hour training I became certified. A perk of being an ambassador is getting to use the premium feature of Seesaw, which includes being able to tag posts with outcomes and assess posts. If you’ve been using Seesaw and want to be an ambassador check out the application link above for what is expected of you and some perks you get.