EDTC 300

Cyber Sleuthing

How much of your life do you think is public knowledge? It is probably more than you realize. This week I participated in a cyber sleuthing activity. One of my classmates and I partnered up and googled and researched each other. The goal was to discover as much as we could about the other person through online sources. This was a really interesting experience, and I learned a lot about my fellow classmates.

This exercise helped us discover what our online identity reveals about ourselves. Some of the information about us comes from us. It is information that stems from our involvement online, our online profiles, and our social media. Other information about ourselves can be found by what others post about us. I also googled myself and a lot of the information I see is articles in the newspaper about my involvement in sports, interviews I’ve had for a variety of things, and information from other people who know me. I also see how I portray myself online as well. It is important to understand that our online identity is not made up of only what you put out there, but what others put out there about you.

Everyone presents an edited version of life on social media. People share moments that reflect an ideal life, an ideal self. 

Kate Fagan

This quote from the article “Split Image” shows exactly what I mean. We try to present ourselves as the best parts of our life. We do not usually see the ugly or hard parts of our life. We show our ideal selves. We want people to see the best parts about ourselves, and that is exactly what we put online.

Our digital identity shows a lot about ourselves. It shows how we portray ourselves, but it also has stuff that we did not post, but others did. I suggest this cyber sleuthing exercise to help students and yourself understand what your digital identity says about you. I do not think we realize how much of our lives is online, and this exercise is a great way to learn about your online identity.


  • M Boyd

    I do agree with what your saying about digital footprint and how this may be useful for students to do. I would heed caution with making students look into one another, last names remain the same there parents or siblings; as such one example comes to mind of a friend and his brother. By searching my friends first and last name, I find a attempted murderer who is his brother, this may cause issues among him and his classmates given this comes up.

  • Erin Zinger

    We often don’t realize what’s online about us, however, its better to purposefully find everything ourselves than our students accidentally find it. The more conscious educators are about their online presence, the more efforts we can take to make the top hits something we are proud of.

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