DI1: What is YOUR Digital Identity?

H4Cheader_smallPlease NOTE: ALL links on this page will open in a new window.

Find out more about how this course (and this gamified Quest) will help you build a positive and professional digital identity. Begin by viewing the video below to learn the reasons why you need a POSITIVE digital footprint. It is long – 15 minutes, but well worth you time to view!! (If you cannot view the video below, go to https://youtu.be/3pDHz-e5xrs to view).

Now learn the specifics as to how this course will help you build YOUR professional positive digital footprint!

Your Digital Footprint


In this task, you will begin building your Digital Identity by selecting a professional display name to use consistently on all of your online work, and you will prepare an image and an avatar to use with your new professional digital identity 🙂

Please note: ALL links on the page will open in a new window!

Image of The Professor NOTES From the Professor

1. Decide on a professional ‘display’ name that you can use online. Often, we use the following:

First name and first initial of your last name (i.e., johns)
First initial and last name or a portion of your last name (i.e., jfredericks; jf)
Miss/mr plus your last name (i.e., missfrederick; mrfrederic; drfrederick)

Here are some appropriate examples (please note that some of these include capital letters – it is easier to type all lower case letters, so consider your audience before using capital letters in your handle):

  • jsmith for John Smith  OR  njones for Nancy Jones  OR  cfigg for Candace Figg
  • MrSmith or mrsmith for John Smith OR  MissJones or missjones for Nancy Jones if she is single (PLEASE – never use a period after the word Miss – this is grammatically incorrect and looks extremely unprofessional/uneducated! Only Mrs. has the period following the abbreviation – Miss is NOT an abbreviation!) OR  DrFigg or drfigg for Candace Figg
  • MrJohn or mrjohn for John Smith OR MrsJones or mrsjones for Nancy Jones if she is married  OR ProfFigg or proffigg for Candace Figg

If you are uncomfortable using your real name online, decide upon a ‘handle’ or display name that you could use over and over again to represent yourself – just make it professional sounding!! I often use handy4class. Here are some other examples:

  • The Clever Sheep – the Twitter name of Rodd Lucier (@thecleversheep), an Ontario teacher who has specialized in copyright and using Creative Commons with students (http://thecleversheep.blogspot.com/)
  • 2020Science – the Twitter name for Andrew Maynard (@science2020), science professor at the University of Michigan (You can read archived copies of his blog; however, these do take a long time to load http://2020science.org/)

NOTE: Whatever you do, do NOT use your Brock ID (two letters two numbers, two letters) or any other identifier issued by institution for this purpose! All institution-issued IDs have data connected to them that needs to remain secure and private, so do not use this outside of the technologies managed by those institutions (this includes Brock-supported technologies such as SAKAI or my.brocku.ca portal).

Check out the list of Ontario educators who tweet at http://twitter.com/#!/dougpete/ontario-educators and see what other handles you can discover!!



  • Locate a professional image/picture that you could use for professional purposes. A head shot (picture showing only your head from shoulders up) is the best for this purpose. You should be dressed in professional clothing (i.e., shirt and tie, jacket – NOT your cheerleading outfit, soccer gear, or swimsuit!)
  • Prepare the image for use on the Internet – see the tutorial here and it will also appear on Handy4class.com in the QuickSteps!
  • Save the image file to submit at the end of the DIGITAL IDENTITY BADGE tasks.

2. CREATE PROFESSIONAL AVATAR: Prepare a professional-looking avatar that can be used to professionally represent you – for those instances where you do not feel comfortable sharing your real image!

(NOTE: Please be aware that although we try to select Internet resources that remain current and we review these links prior to each course section, we do not have control over the bad links on resource links we share – frequently it happens that sites/tools we share in the Quest are no longer available or have recently been discontinued, sometimes only hours before we introduce them to you in class! Just ignore the ones who do not work, and enjoy the ones that do!!)

You should also take time now to review the advisory set out by the Ontario College of Teachers (http://www.oct.ca/resources/advisories/use-of-electronic-communication-and-social-media). This document outlines appropriate behaviour of teachers working online with their students. We will be talking more about this as we explore teaching with technology, but you should have an understanding of what is considered proper netiquette for K-12 teachers working in a digital environment! You may prefer to download the document for reference throughout your Teacher Education Program.

You are now ready to explore the next challenge! Click DI2: Digital Tools To Build Your Digital Identity.