Online Social Management and Education

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Nowadays, our chances of employment heavily rely on how our we present ourselves online, but not all students keep up with the Internet decorum, some of us need guidance when it comes online presentation. I encourage students to look actively for classes on reputation management or educate yourself on online management.

As I researched how students could build or maintain a professional online reputation, I found some articles showing an impressive and underreported connection between social media and education. I asked myself, why didn’t I learn about managing social media in school? I mean it was just as important if not more, as filling out applications or scholarships. I think more students should engage in the online community and create a respectable online  image for themselves, and I believe that our schools are the best source for this much-needed guidance.

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Kevin D. Dougherty, an associate professor of sociology at Baylor University(Wolfman-Arent), conducted a study in which he implemented Facebook groups into his curriculum to see if students would perform better. After applying this technique for two years, he found that by using Facebook, his students actively engaged in the course more and earned better grades. The students discussed and shared their ideas about what they were learning about on the Facebook page.The students also utilized the videos, pictures and quizzes that Professor Dougherty put on the Facebook page. By employing social media in academics, like Kevin D. Dougherty, it gives students an opportunity to engross in intelligent conversations with the Internet community. It allows students to show people ( possibly future employers) an intellectual side to them. It also gives students an opportunity to familiarize themselves in productive and mannered debates. I think more academic institutions should use social media as a teaching mechanism so students can begin to put quality content on the digital platform.

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Because the notion of reputation is moving to a digital plane, more and more academic institutions should consider implementing classes on online reputations management. In “How Schools Can Help Their Students to Strengthen Their Online Reputations”, authors Joris Van Ouytsel, Michel Walrave and Koen Bonnet, lay out ways in which high school teachers can help students create “attractive online identities and online portfolios”(Ouytsel) for their academic and professional career. Some of the “preventive online reputation management” methods that they suggest to teachers are, having discussions about why one should maintain a good online presence and “explaining how online background checks work.” Teachers would then tell their students to think about what sort of content employers are looking for, and they were to create mock professional profiles as practice.To understand how to do online background searches, students would get use to googling themselves so they could upkeep their online persona.The authors also mentioned “proactive online reputation management” methods that teachers could convey like, encouraging students to use correct grammar when engaging in conversation online. Also to push students to put themselves out on the Internet by blogging about their interests, ideas or activities. So students were to blog about their achievements, share their ideas and projects through PDFs or on Youtube or Flickr so they would have a favorable imprint  on the internet.

I think that the methods mentioned in the article are always in the back of our minds but if they aren’t practiced then what’s the point. These methods should be taught to college students, if not high school students because these skills are crucial to students if they want to attract employers. As I continue to research the topic, I hope to see the curriculum on online reputation management offered more in schools/colleges.


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