Managing your online identity

If you google Cathy Woods you will find many references to the exonerated Nevada murderess who erroneously served 35 years in gaol. Google is swamped with people with your name who lead interesting lives. You do need to know what comes up under your name if you are running online accounts. Does it worry me? No. I could probably pay to get my profile up there on Google. Do I need to? No. People can find me if they want to because I manage my online identity so that those I want to find me can. If you google sally07 then my Twitter account will come up and it’s the reason I can’t change my Twitter handle. I have the account in my name but the handle is my old one from the days where we didn’t use our real names. The world changed and I blogged about my decision to be myself online. That Twitter handle has to stay, though.  It carries with it a lot of online positives. I don’t link my Facebook account to anything. Facebook is my online home, I suppose. I check the settings regularly because Facebook makes changes and then doesn’t let you know necessarily . It also broadcasts when you are online, what comments you make, makes you available on Messenger and tells everyone what you like. Stalkers paradise right now. I have turned the sidebar off and I log out now so that I maintain my privacy and the privacy of others. I have changed settings so friends of friends cannot see things. You really need to check your settings on online sites and you really need to be aware of how this may or may not be affecting you. My online identity is not the whole of me but it is a genuine facet of me.

Danielle Di-Masi’s video is a good way to start thinking about your online identity and the UNSW article about her follows that up. Forbes also has a good article about managing your online identity and then a link to some tips for improving what you do.

Dealing with cold callers

You have to keep a level head dealing with cold callers. Most of the time you can just avoid the call, block the number or hang up straight away if you are caught by accident. There are times where you are caught and you end up in a totally inappropriate conversation with an overly friendly person who thinks they have the right to tell you how to run your life. Worse, it might be someone who is trying to disrupt you and your life with unpleasant news of one sort or another. I had one of those accident phone calls referred to in Guy Arnold’s video and I more or less followed the advice I found he is giving and  it worked. I did ask them who they were ,please and  how they were. When they talked about the accident I asked if they were sure because that was indeed worrying. I said no one I knew had had an accident and so it was really unfortunate because they must be ringing the wrong number.I said it was really important they should find the right person.  They were apologetic and got off the phone. Solved. I always Google the numbers I don’t recognise because they are almost always cold call numbers. It is surprising how much documentation there is on these numbers. So why is it allowed to continue? Why are these numbers not blocked by telecommunications carriers? Why are people from other countries allowed to harass us and why is it allowed to continue in our own country? It’s the equivalent of someone barging in your front door when you open it and helping themselves to a cup of tea and hijacking your life and conversation  in the real world. It’ appallingly rude and unacceptable. There are some tips on the Guardian as to how to manage cold callers too. It needs to be dealt with in a more concerted way. I am never rude if I am caught by accident. These people might be working at the only job they can get. These people have gone to work to try and get money for their life. They may have no other choice in life. We do. We have technology and we need to more effectively filter and block these callers at all levels.

Things smart phones have replaced

things smart phones have replaced

Image: teacherswithapps

I shouldn’t be surprised with how long the lists are. Smart phones have been around for a while. They were looked upon as fancy upgrades to the phones we had at the time but in real terms they are having an economic and environmental impact. Fewer devices means less clutter in our homes and less e-waste. I still keep a paper copy of contacts and addresses because electronic devices are not 100% reliable. They can lose vital information because of a crash , loss or changeover. I back things up but there still isn’t a perfect way of ensuring your data is there when you need it. Worse is if you have no wifi or internet connection. Then you really are in trouble. In Australia we haven’t moved over to electronic purchase receipts. That would save so much paper. I love e-tickets of various sorts. It is simple and works well. I do carry my shopping list and any other list on my phone. No more lost bits of paper. I haven’t totally converted to e-books because a paper book is just nice to have and isn’t counted, tracked or quantified. You can just read in peace. Smart phones have revolutionised a lot of what we do and will probably continue to do so because they will run our smart homes , smart cars and smart gardens. I have seen non English speaking tourists in our shops using smart phone translators to get the things they need. It is not perfect but certainly better than being stranded with no way of communicating in a language you don’t know. It is less worrying for the tourists and easier on the shop personnel. Smart phones have also been our way of quickly establishing relationships with people. You no sooner meet someone than their smart phone comes out and you can see pictures of their family, their holidays, their skills. We have used them to create authentic relationships in a very effective way. They are very complex now and can do so much. In time they will replace more things and then add their own layers of functionality. There is another list on technologreview, apart from the link at the top of the post ,with more things smart phones have replaced. For the generation  coming into smart phone use, none of this is relevant. They have what they have and won’t know about what has been replaced so there is a whole bank of generational experiences which have gone too and whether that matters or not is to be seen. I was wondering who’d remember what a rolodex/teledex was and who’d actually care? I used to love playing with it and thinking it was something to achieve to have my own one! What the smart phone uptake does do , though, is create a way of thinking and processing information and if you don’t have the things you are used to, you might be scrambling for the workarounds and not understand some digital processes. That replacement function will be affecting cognition in some people.

Check username

namechk siteThere have been a number of funny memes about how hard it is to create a username for some sites because the one you want is always taken and then you try 10 others and end up with something stupid just because you are frustrated trying to find a username. Namechk will cross check usernames across plenty of sites. It means you then have the chance to dignify username choice because you are not in that pressure situation of trying to come up with a username as you are signing up to a site. Namechk will block out the sites where you cannot use that name and highlight the available sites in green. Easy!

IT skills for jobs 2017

it skills for jobs

Image : smh 

We are well past the stage where using a computer and mobile devices are desirable job skills. We are very much into the realms of data, SEO (search engine optimisation), apps development and UI/UX (user interface and user experience). Education is not about jobs but the skills people learn through study are generally the sorts of things which will carry them through to employability and the learning skills needed to advance themselves. Students do need to be familiar with the sorts of knowledge which will promote growth in their lives. I have spoken about UX and UI a lot on this blog. In classrooms which use technology it is something teachers need to be aware of. Design and technology  together. There was an article in the Sydney Morning Herald which discussed the sorts of IT skills we are looking for in Australia and it also included the soft skills we seem to be short of : teamwork, ownership and problem solving. Collaboration has been a classroom requirement for a long time as has teamwork. Ownership is about belonging and certainly there have been conversations and practices around that in education in Australia so I am wondering why these skills seem to be missing. CIO looks at the 10 IT skills which are most in demand at the  moment and looks and the reasons why.  The World Economic Forum looks at it from a global perspective and lists the skills we are looking for in the world. Not that much different form what we are looking for in Australia. FastCompany discusses at length three IT skills in particular and why they need to be commonplace now because they are so important to economic growth.  They are also important to an understanding of how technology works and influences us and how technology is being used and leveraged in today’s world. We have a lot of tools and software now. We need to progress to the next phase where we get he best out of them and then understand how they are impacting on us and can impact on us

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