Cyber Sleuthing

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This week we were asked to pair up and try find out some online information about our partner! The good, the bad and the ugly! This task is not to embarrass our partner, but it is to help them become more digitally aware. What you post on social media can have an impact on your future and most are not thinking about that in high school or whenever you start your first social media accounts. I know I sure wasn’t! Entering the teaching profession, you might not realize what you posted years before could affect potential employment.

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So, I got to work and went full detective mode!  

My partner is Alexandra Crammond (she prefers Alex). I started with her Twitter account where she goes as mscrammond. On her twitter account, I was able to find her Educational Blog. Her blog is personable and she lets you get a glimpse of who she is, but in a very respectful and professional way. She grew up in a small community and loves being in the outdoors. She comes from a family of 6 and is in her 3rd year of university. She currently is a registered and practicing Primary Care Paramedic (Kuddos to her doing this job, it would be an extremely challenging and mentally exhausting job).

I was able to find her Instagram account from her blog. Although I could not access it, she does have it set on private and I would need to request to have permission to see whatever she posts on Instagram. I think this is clever to do especially in our profession. I am sure students and parents tend to look up the classroom teacher, not in a negative way, but it seems to be human nature and a thing to do if we have access to it.

Alex’s Facebook seems pretty inactive. She does not have many posts and the ones she does are regarding EMS safety or pictures of her in the outdoors – snowboarding or with her significant other. She has limited photos, but what you can see are with family or friends and nothing concerning to the public eye.

I then went and googled Alexandra Crammond and the typical twitter, Instagram, and her blog posts were the first to appear. I wanted to do a little bit more searching so I typed in Alexandra Crammond, Primary Care Paramedic, and I was able to find one news article that includes Alex. It is an article to be proud of and states “Heroes on the medical frontline” and has a photo of her and her paramedic crew based out of whitewood.

All and all, Alex’s social media and digital citizenship presence is not something she has to worry about in my opinion. I would gladly be her friend from what I saw and I would love to be coworkers with her. I think any employer would be lucky to hire her! I like that she has her social media’s set up so the general public can’t view them without her granting permission. Her twitter account is professional and you can tell she’s focusing on building her PLN! I would say Alex is more of an under sharer when it came to what I could see or had access to on Instagram and Facebook, however her Educational Blog and Twitter account she has shared more personal things so I was able to get a sense of who Alex is. Overall, I am impressed with how much she has shared on certain aspects and how little she has shared on social media.

Reflecting

Reflecting on this weeks readings and teachings and the realization that not everything we see on social media is what it seems. I think it is easy for anyone to get caught up in what they think “the perfect life is”… Then we cruise others social media accounts and compare our lives to what we are viewing. This week I read the story of Madison Holleran, and it sank in. This beautiful, talented, and smart young lady was fighting demons that you would not know she had because of her digital identity that she shared with the world! I think her parents are doing great things to raise awareness around suicide and Madison’s story and their message that ” It’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to show people you’re not OK.”

Social media can be great, but it also can hide reality and I think that it’s important to teach children that not everything they see is sunshine and roses. Looking at my own social media posts on Instagram (which is set to private -so strangers are not looking, but my friends and family are). It would seem that my life is going great and we just purchased a camper, or I was just in Cypress Hills for my birthday! I am not sharing with the world the hardships that have occurred because we don’t blast the negative on social media only the positive! (although, I have been more vocal on my Facebook about struggling with online learning and being at home 24/7 and the toll it can have on a person), but for the most part it is happy-go-lucky posts. My dad calls Facebook -“Brag book” and I think he has a good point with his wording! It is just for people to brag about their lives for others to see, he does not have Facebook and grew up in a time where if he had exciting news about something he would personally have to tell his closest friends or family. I actually remember him saying when I got engaged “I’m sure its already on bragbook and everyone knows” and because of this I waited 2 weeks before I made it “Facebook official.” How silly does that seem!

I just think it is important to make students aware of what they are viewing and to not think the grass is greener because what their friends are posting and to remember that struggles happen to everyone. I just hope that I can give my students the tools they need to seek help and not be worried to ask me if they are struggling. I have already experienced the loss of a student and hope that I never have to do that again because they feel me a safe person in their life. You can read more about that in my “Journey to Becoming an Educator” post!

4 thoughts on “Cyber Sleuthing

  1. Shana,
    I appreciate your in-depth look into Alex’s digital identity! It sounds like you did a great job finding a variety of different kind of information about her. I think you are totally right in saying that in our profession it may be smart to have your instagram account private. Mine is private as well, although I have thought about making another instagram specifically for my teaching information. The only thing holding me back from that is the amount of time and effort I think it would take to run that account as well. I have found developing my PLN (especially through Twitter) this semester to be very time consuming! I am sure the more you do it the more efficient you are at it, but I feel like have many social media accounts would be exhausting!

    1. I have really enjoyed learning from others on Twitter and building my community, but you are right! The time and effort that is spent on posting, commenting, and finding resources that are useful can be too much sometimes. I think if you are going to focus on Instagram that should be your main focus and you can ease out of tweeting as much! I do a few online business through my Facebook account and it can get overwhelming. I also tried to do one of them on both Facebook and Instagram and I tend to ignore the Instagram account. The past few weekends I have been taking off and not tweeting out as much, with everything being online it has taking a toll on me! personal media life, running some side businesses, school, heck I even had a job interview today through zoom it just has been consuming my life and its nice to unplug on the weekends to enjoy “in the flesh” life haha.

  2. Hi Shana.
    I like that you pointed out the mental health information that you found. I think it is often that educators are told what not to have on their online identities but it could be a great way to reach out to old students or give them a reminder of the important life lessons you taught them. I have found most students want to find their teachers on TikTok or Instagram but parents may look on things like Twitter and Facebook. You are not required to give resources for school or mental health online but it does help to expand your circle.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey Sarah, It is a subject that has so much work to be done around it. I think the more that is out their for students and parents to learn the better and more accepted talking about mental health will become!

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