In week 6 we ran the final workshop for SADL on ‘Managing your digital identity and the digital future’. This workshop was probably one of the most enjoyable for the staff who were leading it and the students taking part. We have made the slides available on SlideShare and in Moodle, but started by asking students to work in pairs and Google each other. They then shared what they found with their partner, reflecting on what was online about them, whether they were happy with what was online and what sort of sites they appeared on. A number of students were concerned about privacy and security issues, or found information about themselves they didn’t really want to be online.

The next activity asked students to consider why they thought their digital footprint mattered, and then we played this video, from London Metropolitan University:

Our Ambassadors had a good awareness of many of the issues raised in the London Met video. Many suspected that prospective employers might Google them, and that what was online about them might be a security risk and lead to identity theft. However on the positive side they were able to make connections with people online and network, through the information they found and shared. Some students felt that their online presence could redefine human relationships, and maybe allow them to express themselves in new ways. We finally asked them to come up with 5 tips to improve their digital identity and a few of the ideas included:

  1. Look to improve your professional image online – use a site like LinkedIn to do this to create your online identity.
  2. Regularly search for yourself in Google to check what is being found and review your security settings for sites like Facebook.
  3. Consider using a nickname for a site (e.g. Flickr or Instagram) that you don’t want associated with your professional identity.
  4. Think before you post online – don’t post late at night, after a few drinks or when angry or upset.
  5. If all else fails, you can use the new EU right to be forgotten.

The second part of the session was where the fun began and we introduced students to the group projects we want them to work on in the next few weeks, to present at our SADL Celebration on 11th March. We brought along some technology: DSLR cameras, podcasting kits, and ipads for the students to start creating their own content. We started off with a light hearted exercise called ‘The Expert Chair’ where students got to practice interviewing each other on made up topics such as ‘badger wrestling,’  ‘swan politics’ or ‘elephant economics’. It was just to get them used to the equipment and relaxed about interviewing, before we set them to work going out into the library to interview some fellow students for their projects. The student projects cover four topics and we are really looking forward to their presentations on 11th March. They will be presenting on:

  • How to improve Moodle
  • How to improve learning at LSE
  • How to improve peer support and
  • How to improve learning spaces at LSE.

We’ve held project surgeries over the past 2 weeks to support the group projects and loan out equipment to the students. The Senior Ambassadors are playing an important role in supporting this work and we hope it will generate some interesting ideas!

Jane Secker

About Jane Secker

Digital Literacy and Copyright Advisor at LSE's Centre for Learning Technology