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Contents Introduction...4 Essential skills for the 21st Century......5 Keeping safe online......6 e-Skills...8 Using PebblePad... ...9 Being a good ‘global citizen’......10 Social networking......11 Digital footprints......12 Using the web to promote yourself and your work......13 Useful links for ‘personal branding’......16 Creating an e-portfolio......17 Cool presentation tools......18 Blogging......22 publishing issues......23 More useful links......24 Freebies......26 About this e-book......27


Introduction These days we are increasingly sharing thoughts, experiences, images and self-produced videos online. The internet provides a platform enabling anyone to be an author, director, entertainer and/ or critic. We can be who or whatever we want to be through

our ‘digital identity’.

However, just as you need to be ‘streetwise’ in the physical world, so you also need to be aware of the implications of being part of the ‘virtual global society’. It is widely known that employers scan social networking sites to find (or eliminate!) potential employees; there have been reported cases where digital pasts have emerged with negative consequences; there are also legal issues around copyright and accessibility to name just two, not to mention the dangers of identity theft and paedophilia. Increasing numbers of us are using social networking sites to communicate, share and collaborate, unaware that potential employers are also increasingly looking at our presence on sites such as MySpace, Facebook, etc… We are often naïve regarding the way we present ourselves online which can be detrimental to our reputation and, consequently, future employment prospects. eGo aims to help you get to grips with the various aspects of being a ‘digital citizen’. You’ll find detailed information about how you can use the web to promote both you and your work, and links to resources that can help you define and create your own ‘personal brand’. In order to use the internet confidently there is also guidance on online safety as well as information on legalities such as copyright and accessibility.


Essential skills for the 21st Century...

The diagram above aims to identify the online skills that will help you to stand out from the rest. The pages in this e-book are designed to help you improve in these areas and equipped to become a confident and successful ‘global citizen’. There are various support teams around the University to assist you. For example, Learning Development provide a range of workshops and study guides around information literacy and staff in the Library can help you with issues such as copyright. (UoP login required). See the relevant pages for more information and further links. 5

Keeping safe online... We’re constantly being reminded that the internet is a dangerous place - we live in fear of being robbed, stalked or infected with a virus! But what do we need to do to keep ourselves safe? Read on...

General security • ‘Get Safe Online’ gives free, expert advice around issues such as protecting your computer and mobile phone, avoiding identity theft and online rip-offs. The site has been developed in partnership between the UK Government, HSBC and Microsoft among others. • ‘Protect Yourself Online’ - detailed information from Get Safe Online • ‘Golden Rules of Safe Internet Shopping’ - advice from the British Computer Society (BCS) • ‘Guidance for Home and Small Office Users’ - advice regarding keeping safe online from the British Computer Society • Virus and Malware Protection - information provided by IT Services at the University of Plymouth (UoP username & password required) • ‘Keeping your child safe online’ - tips from ParentsCentre, a UK Government online resource


Identity theft • ‘’- advice from the Home Office on how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you’re a victim of identity theft • ‘Help Me Stop Identity Theft’- tips from ‘Get Safe Online’ • ‘Data Security’ - video debate about data security and public confidence by the British Computer Society. • ‘You Can Run’ - Panorama (originally shown at 20:29:00 to 21:01:00, 27/10/2008 on BBC ONE) Simon Boazman investigates how much information is held on him, whether it’s secure and whether he can reduce his data trail. Watch on BOB (Digital Identities Playlist) - UoP username and password required • We are all being made aware about our carbon footprints but have you ever thought about your ‘digital footprints’ - the trail you leave online. They can either be ‘active’ - personal data that you’ve put online yourself, or ‘passive’ - data about you on corporate databases and public records. If you would like to investigate this area further try playing detective at ‘This Is Me’

Online predators • ‘One Click From Capture’ - How Panorama helped expose a paedophile using the internet to groom teenage girls for sex. (available via BBC News Player) Panorama: One Click from Capture was transmitted on BBC One at 8.30pm on Monday 26 May 2008. • ‘Beware of what your friends are posting online’- animation created by WiredSafety


e-Skills In order to make the web work best for you, you need the right skills. The following guides should help... • A series of study guides covering topics such as effective note-taking, reading, critical thinking, writing essays & reports and giving presentations, are available from the University’s Learning Development Service, who also offer one-to-one tutorials. • ‘Managing Your Files’ (PDF - detailed University help document that also explains using shared areas, saving files to CD/ memory stick and creating a mail archive in Outlook (University username and password required) • ‘Student Guides’ - includes advice regarding using email and the Student Portal (University username and password required). • There are also online training tutorials available that include Office 2007, Microsoft Windows XP, Office XP and Office 2003 materials as well as a typing tutor to brush up on keyboard skills. You can also measure your skills with online tests for each course. • ‘Internet Detective’ is a free online tutorial by Intute Virtual Training Suite to improve your internet skills in terms of using the web to research for assignments. It includes advice on how to evaluate information, avoid plagiarism and reference your work. • ‘infoSuss’ - an online information literacy tutorial created by the University of Sussex • ‘What is plagiarism?’ - this University of Plymouth video tells the story of students who have been summoned to an Enquiry Committee at a Plagiarism Hearing and explains why each of them are there. • Avoiding Plagiarism - Diagnostic test to help you understand plagiarism and how to avoid it. (University username and password required) •

‘A Guide to Referencing’ - helpsheets and guidance from Learning Development. (University username and password required)

• ‘LiliPad - Leading Information Literacy In Plymouth for Academic Development’ - UoP website containing interactive tutorials, instruction videos and quick reference cards to help you build your information literacy skills.


Using PebblePad... As a University of Plymouth student (or member of staff) you also have your own e-portfolio (PebblePad) account where you can plan, collect, reflect on and share your knowledge, abilities and experiences. This is a completely private personal workspace - you choose what others can see. Go to and log in with your UoP username and password. Here you can create your own action plans, blogs, CVs and, of course, online portfolios. There are ‘getting started’ guides on the login screen.


Being a good ‘global citizen’... ‘Netiquette’ or ‘how to behave on the web’ • ‘Communications Guide’ prepared by Gary Alexander for the Open University • University of Plymouth Guidance Notes re. Email/ Outlook Etiquette and Good Practice and Guidance Notes for Students in relation to material placed/posted on University Web Services (University username & password required)

Accessibility and Usability Accessibility is the process of making something (a discrete as a web page or Word document, or as broad as ‘the student experience’) fit for purpose for all potential users. This applies to good online publishing, particularly when designing your own web site. The following should ensure all users have a good experience when visiting your site... • clean, concise look • consistent positioning of navigation throughout • keep links underlined so it is clear they are links • use alt tags for images/animation (you will be prompted to add these when you insert a picture/ video) • if a page is long either add a button to return to top of page or repeat the navigation menu at the bottom • print/text version available if necessary • templates help keep the site consistent and make any alterations/updating much easier and quicker! • use style sheets (CSS) so that user can change size of text/ colours if they want to Related Resources: • ‘Skills for Access’ - ‘How to’ guides for creating accessible multimedia 10

Social networking... Many of us use Facebook, a free social networking site which “helps you to connect and share with the people in your life”. You create a profile and share photos, videos, etc... You can also join discussion forums and groups. It’s easy to use and can get quite addictive - which has prompted a few negative articles. Facebook, and similar sites such as MySpace, Ning, Crowdvine, LinkedIn, etc... are great for starting and maintaining relationships. They enable people to get to know each other before arriving at university for example or, for staff, conferences. They can also be used to successfully promote your work - look at Lily Allen and the Arctic Monkeys! If you’re using Facebook or any other social networking site where you are submitting personal details, make sure you’ve taken all the necessary precautions to keep your identity safe from fraudsters - and use a bit of common sense when it comes to uploading photos and/ or videos. Potential lecturers, employers, lovers, friends and/or family could look you up ...would they be impressed with what they see? Do you really want to be easily stalked by the ex you’d rather forget? Don’t forget - it’s there forever! When you initially sign up to Facebook the default privacy settings are public - your profile, photos, videos, status updates... are open and available to anyone in the world - they don’t even have to be registered with Facebook themselves! To change them log in and go to ‘settings’ at the top of the page and then select ‘privacy settings’. Essential reading - see this Facebook Privacy Guide in pictures from the BBC (May 2010) and a new resource by Facebook themselves to educate users on privacy. • ‘The University’s Guidelines on Using Social Networking Sites’ written by Fiona Greig, eResources Team Manager, University of Plymouth (18.1 kb Word doc) • ‘The Art of Using Facebook’ - part of a series of articles aimed at students by Harriet Swain of The Guardian (Dec. 2008)


Digital footprints... There is already alot of digital information about you that you have no control over - bank, medical, educational, government... all these agencies hold a detailed account about you. And that’s just the start. You’re constantly being tracked on the web - what you look at, how long you stay on a page, where you go next, what you buy ...what you might also be interested in... Then there’s what others post on the web about you - photos, comments, critiques... All the above coupled with what you put online yourself builds a picture of who you are - photos, musical preferences, messages, video clips, exercise ratings, game characters...

Do you know how much of your ‘digital self’ is out there?

Have you ever ‘googled’ yourself?

Are you aware of your ‘digital footprints’? - whatever you put online, stays online! Think before you publish - would you be happy if your mum saw that photo? If your employer saw that tweet? The ‘This Is Me’ project, developed at the University of Reading, aims to help people learn more about what makes up their digital identity and ways to develop and enhance it. “Digital identity is made up of multiple parts – it isn’t just what we have published about ourselves on the web, but also what others have published about us.” Have you ever tried ‘googling’ yourself? This site has several fun stories and exercises to help raise awareness around the various issues surrounding digital identity, inviting you to play detective to search for people and evaluate what you find. You can also download a free workbook to help you learn more about your digital identity. Wouldn’t you like to have as much control over how your persona is presented as possible? Wouldn’t it be good to feel confident about the virtual environment you’re increasingly part of and make it work for you? Read on to find out how you can use the web to your advantage...


Using the web to promote yourself and your work... “People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.” (Thomas Szasz, 1920 – ) So, you’re pretty good at your coursework, brilliant at your hobbies and you’ve spent time brushing up your information literacy skills; you’re familiar with the legal issues associated with online publishing and you know how to look after yourself in cyberspace. BUT no-one will appreciate how good you are unless you work at promoting yourself and your talents - and if you don’t you are putting defining who you are and what you’re about at the mercy of others! How you present yourself through managing your digital identity is crucial. The next couple of pages are informed by experts in personal branding to help you realise your potential and use the web to work effectively for you.

Where to start... Ask yourself the following questions... • • • • • • •

What do I want to do? Where do I want to go? Where am I now? What do I have to do to get where I want to go? What do I have to offer? Who do I want to appeal to? What impression do I want to give?

Then... • Define yourself through writing yourself a profile • Sum up yourself in one sentence (about 15 words) - this will probably take some time! 13


Next... • Create a personal website and/ or blog and include a link to it in your profile. Be aware of how you are presenting yourself though - keep your personal life private. Link to all the sites you have an online presence on from here. • There are lots of online communities through which you can promote yourself and make new contacts - for example, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, mySpace. Join relevant groups and add your profile and picture - use the same ones for consistency. You could even start your own group! Also set up a profile at all major social sites, even if you’re not planning to use them yet - this is known as “defensive branding”. • Create a Google account (iGoogle is your personal portal) and access a range of useful tools. • Comment on other peoples’ blogs and share your expertise in forums. Use an aggregator such as Google Reader so that you can easily see new posts from blogs that you are interested in on one page. You can also get a Google Reader app on some mobile phones. • Create an electronic portfolio of work - see ‘Creating an e-portfolio’ • Attend relevant events and conferences - present at them if you can. • Contribute to journal or magazine articles.

Remember brands are complex and not one dimensional!


Useful links for ‘personal branding’... • ‘Personal Branding is More Important Than You Realize‘ – blog post by Ben Yoskovitz, Instigator Blog (entrepreneurship, business, social media and networking) • ‘Presenting your positive image/ brand’ – created by Study Guides and Strategies. Tips and advice regarding promoting yourself in both faceto-face and digital environments, for example, the four components of your personal brand (above) • ‘Personal Branding for the Business Professional’ (285Kb pdf) – a free, downloadable booklet created by Chris Brogan, who advises companies regarding using social media, which explores creating and maintaining a successful personal brand in depth – highly recommended! • ‘The Brand Called You’ – blog by Tom Peters of The Fast Company detailing the importance of ‘brand you’ and how to promote it • ‘Personal Branding Blog’ - facilitated by Dan Schawbel, a “leading personal branding expert for Gen Y”. This post has a ’starter guide’ which includes guides for beginners starting their first blog and a personal branding toolkit. Well worth a look! • ‘Careers: Personal Branding Steps’ – blog post by Wendy Marx of The Fast Company looking at how to build a ‘non-techy’ related brand • ‘5 Ways to Share Your Social Media Identity’ – blog post by Josh Catone from Mashable, The Social Media Guide • ‘The 2009 Personal Avatar Size Reference Guide’ – Handy guide of image sizes for different social network sites and a link to a useful resizing tool – mypictr. Post written by Jacob Share for the Personal Branding Blog • ‘How To Build Your Personal Brand On Facebook’ - article by Dan Schawbel for Mashable • ‘5 Lessons Celebrities Can Teach Us About Facebook Pages’ by Dan Schawbel on Mashable • ‘My Top Ten Ways To Promote Yourself On Web 2.0’ by David Strom, an international authority on network and internet technologies


Creating an e-portfolio... It used to be that you would compile and send off a curriculum vitae to a prospective employer, perhaps with an accompanying CD of work if you were a photogropher or designer. However, while CVs are still important, it is now possible to easily show a body of work online - reports, photos, images, videos... whatever helps to prove you are THE ONE! The University’s Careers Service has excellent advice about how to create CVs, fill in application forms and how to employ various interview techniques. If you’re looking for a bit of creative inspiration, have a look at these examples from the WebDesigner Depot blog! There are also tools within your PebblePad e-Portfolio account that can help you prepare your CV. You may find the following PebblePad videos useful... • How to complete the ‘About Me’ section •

How to use the CV tool

However, where your PebblePad account becomes really useful is its ability to enable you to create an online portfolio (or webfolio as it’s called in PebblePad) quickly and easily - no web design experience necessary! A webfolio is a collection of assets brought together to create an e-portfolio presentation which is displayed as a website. You can choose the layout through using an existing template or by creating your own. It can include any asset stored in your PebblePad account, or you can link to external resources. You can even embed one webfolio within another. • This video explains how to create a webfolio • This video explains how to add ‘special pages’ to your webfolio. Special pages could be another webfolio, a blog, a profile, a proforma, photos fed through from your *Flickr account or a page made up of tagged items in your asset store. • This video explains how to share an asset (this could be a webfolio) with others, whether they are PebblePad users or completely external to the University. • Examples of PebblePad webfolios Note: You can divide your webfolio pages into seperate text and image sections - click on the text/image toggle icon on the top-right of the editing window. 17

Cool presentation tools... Another quick and very cool way to present your stuff is to use Cooliris. Cooliris is an infinite 3D wall that you pull with your mouse to view items. It comes with various channels for you to watch youTube videos, shop with Amazon, watch film trailers... For e-portfolio purposes though you can also point it to display pictures and videos from your own computer - just browse for the relevant folder (see the above example). You can also place items on your ‘personal’ wall that you can then email. All for free! 18

A neat presentation tool that you can embed into your own blog page for free, Prezi is a web-based editor that allows you to upload and place your own pictures, videos and pdf documents, as well as add your own text. As items are placed at different angles, the presentation rotates to display them when they are clicked on. To see it in action please see my blog. This fun tool looks really impressive but can’t be read by everyone (see the accessibility section) so have a text version on your page as well.


Issuu displays your uploaded PDF document as a book, with a navigation dock below so that you can skip to different pages quickly and easily. Unfortunately, as it’s Flash-based, it won’t work on an ipad yet, but they’re waiting for approval so watch this space. Blurb is a similar tool but goes one stage further in that they will also supply you with a printed version of your ‘book’ for a small fee. (Prices start at £2.95). This is apparently already popular with art and photography students. 20

You can also create a ‘showcase video’ - this one was made using Microsoft Photostory 3.1, which you can download for free. Simply add the images you want to include, choose a ‘style’ and a music soundtrack if you want, and it will do the rest for you, resulting in a wmv file! If you’re using a mac, iphoto does the same thing.

microsoft photostory for windows xp


Blogging... If creating your e-portfolio has given you a taste for communicating online, you may want to start sharing your expertise through a blog or even your own website. These platforms can be an excellent way of showing off your writing, journalist and/ or design skills. The following is a definition of a blog from Wikipedia “A blog (a contraction of the term “weblog”)[1] is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.” There are many free blog services available - see Blogger or Wordpress for example, although there are many more. You can choose your own look and feel from loads of free templates and add your own widgets - these could be calendars, tag clouds (indexing system for key words in your posts), blog rolls (links to other blogs you find interesting) or lots more. You can easily write your blog entries (posts) in a simple text editor and upload pictures and embed videos. People can then comment on what you’ve posted - this can be really useful especially if you’re looking for feedback and/or ideas. In terms of maintaining your brand, giving away free, useful stuff is a good way of getting people to visit your site. Having your own website can cost money and usually involves more technical skill. Search online for the best hosting deals. Register your own name (first and last name) with a .com extension. If it is already taken, try registering it using a middle initial or some other slight variation. Don’t forget to add new content regularly!


publishing issues... However, whatever tool or platform you’re using be aware that what you publish will be there forever!

Some issues to bear in mind when you’re publishing to the web... • • • •

libel - writing something untrue about someone privacy copyright - legal basis of what can or cannot be done with content without the copyright owner’s permission intellectual property - covers a range of legal protections over things created by the human mind and provide an incentive for innovation.

Read this informative post from the webdesigners depot before you start! - ‘Free Speech and Freedom of Information: Advice for Bloggers’

Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is a complex area. If you’re a University of Plymouth student see • Students and intellectual property rights or • contact Mr Graham Titley, Document Delivery and Copyright Librarian.

The JISC Web2Rights Project gives detailed information about copyright and IPR specifically around Web 2.0 technologies (Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, etc...). You can download free factsheets, checklists and templates from the website.


More useful links... • Web 2.0 Glossary of Terms - what is a blog, tweet, geotag? This list, put together by Webtrends (, will tell you • ‘The Art of Personal Development Planning’ - a light-hearted but informative article by Harriet Swain for The Guardian. Part of the ‘How to be a student’ series • ‘Good Documents’ - good layout techniques for online documents

Some social networking sites... • Facebook • mySpace • Bebo - mainly for younger users • LinkedIn - for professionals from all areas, this is a good network to join as you can recommend and be recommended for work • Ning - users can create and customise their own social networking sites • xing - for business professionals • Twitter - users converse through short 140 character messages or ‘tweets’. Good for following news/ discussions as they happen

Personal Portals... • iGoogle - personal ‘portal’ page made up of your own selected widgets/ webparts such as bookmarks, weather, news, email, etc.. • Pageflakes - personal ‘portal’ page made up of your own selected widgets/webparts such as links to weather, your photos, to do list, etc...


Some social tools... Share photos with... • Flickr • Picasa Share videos with... • youTube • Vimeo (for videos over 10 minutes) Receive and share blog posts via... • Google Reader Share bookmarks and links via... • Delicious • Diigo Share PowerPoint and Keynote presentations via... • Slideshare Share all your ‘digital presences’ via... • DandyID


Freebies... • BeFunky - photo editor with lots of effects • Floorplanner - design your own room and garden layouts. • Free fonts - loads of free fonts to download • Graffiti Creator - create your own graffitti online (used for this e-book cover!) • has loads of different free stuff including wallpapers, icons, Wordpress (blog) tips, Blogger (blog) templates, etc... Also included 25 Websites To Have Fun With Your Photos & 12 Sites To Create Cartoon Characters Of Yourself • - listen to free music with internet radio & a huge online catalogue • RateMyDrawings - draw online, enter competitions and pick up drawing tips. • Simpsonize Me - turns you into a character from The Simpsons! • Slideroll - create online slideshows with your photos • Snapshots shows a preview of a webpage when you rollover it’s link • Spotify - listen to free music • SUMO Paint - free online image editing software which allows you to use layers • ToonDoo - create cartoon strips • toonlet - web-comic blogging/ twittering in minutes! (as used for ‘keeping safe online’) • Xtranormal - text-to-movie (the eGo ‘rap’ video was created using this) • lets you play loads of videos together - simply choose your videos and type in the size you want them to play - trippy!!! 26

About this e-book... eGo was created by Flea Palmer, a Learning Technologist at the University of Plymouth, UK - much of the content, therefore, is directed at these students. It’s based on tools Flea uses herself - she’s aware there are many she’s left out! eGo is the product of a Teaching Fellowship Project and will be developed further under the Digital Literacy strand of the University’s Building Capacity Project 2010 This work is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. For more information about learning technology development please see our website at



How to promote yourself online safely and confidently