Action Steps: Possibilities for Crafting Your Online Professional Identity and Digital Footprint

How Will You "Write Yourself Into Being?"

Carl Young

NC State University


Below is a "big picture" approach to possible action steps -- ideas to come back to and consider as you explore your options for "writing yourself into being." John, however, will now engage you in some publishing and sharing in action!


1. Create Your Own Professional Education Start Page / Dashboard or Homepage, that includes links to your online content (e.g., webpages, projects, etc.)


Possible Tools:

  • About.Me: A custom profile and personal analytics dashboard

  • Flavors.Me: Quick home page tool

  • Google Sites: Google's scaffolded website tool

  • Weebly: Another free and easy to use website development tool

2. Create a Twitter Account and Begin Professional Connections

General Information on Twitter

Educators to Follow:

  • Meredith Stewart, Cary Academy, Cary, NC: @msstewart

  • Bud Hunt, Northern Colorado School District: @budtheteacher

  • Steven Anderson, Winston-Salem, NC: @web20classroom

  • Bethany Smith, NC State, Raleigh, NC: @bethanyvsmith

  • Shelly S. Terrell, Educator, Edublogger, and Global Collaborator: @shellterrell

  • Steve Katz, Seoul, Korea: @stevekatz

  • George Couros, K-12 Principal, Alberta, Canada: @gcouros

  • Google Doc list of educators organized by content area and grade / instructional level with their Twitter user names (includes International category)

Content-focused Examples

  • Writing Today Twitter feed: Collaborative site with graduate English education students focused on writing, teaching writing, and related topics

  • Language Today Twitter feed: Collaborative site undergraduate and graduate English education students focused on language, literacy, and culture

Lists / Professional Development Groups to Join / Follow:


Alternative Tool available in China: Sina Weibo

3. Create a Blog focused on some aspect of Teaching, Content (e.g., English, History, Chinese, Physics, Science, etc.), and/or Technology



4. Join an Online Professional Education Community and Contribute Content to that Community


New Literacies and Technology Integration:


5. Create a Class Webpage to Feature Your Students' Work



  • Wikispaces

  • Also see tools above for professional websites and blogs (1 and 3).

6. Facilitate Students' Work Being Published Online


  • My Jewish Legacy -- As part of her Bat-Mitzvah education, student developed website as a starting place for kids and teens to share stories about their grandparents’ journeys in escaping or surviving the Holocaust.

  • Many Voices for Darfur Blog: - teacher-facilitated and student-run project focused on raising awareness about the genocide in Darfur.

  • 25 Days to Make A Difference: - student project paying tribute to grandfather and also challenging kids to do good in the world in small but compelling ways

  • The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Busing Debate: - collaborative student project focused generally on the larger context of the Civil Rights movement and more specifically on the events surrounding the busing debated in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district during the 1970s.

Action Comics Image Source: Chris Jeung's Superman Project at the University of Virginia, 2011.