Talking Online Reputation at Billanook College

This week I had the great opportunity to visit Melbourne’s Billanook College (a really lovely campus) and talk to the Year 10 students about the power of building a positive online reputation and identity.

The senior years of secondary school are quite interesting when it comes to the online presence of students. It’s often the first time students really have to think about life outside or, and after school – as they choose VCE subjects, head out of work-experience, and poke their heads out from Fort Knox-type privacy settings online.

It’s a transition phase between almost exclusively playing it extremely safe online, offering little personality or insights into their character, passions, skills and interests on their profiles – to having to start thinking about building an online reputation to be proud of… One that will help them get their first part-time job, their school leadership opportunity, work-experience or volunteer position, placement or scholarship.

Some of the things I spoke about included;

  • The importance of being aware of who is in your online audience
  • Online actions having offline consequences
  • Thinking Before You Post
  • What makes a ‘good’, ‘bad’ and ‘invisible’ online reputation
  • Considering what you want to be known for…
  • Quick and easy ways to showcase your character, and tell your story on social media

But, I wasn’t the only one talking, I also received some great questions from the students and staff in attendance.

Someone asked should they be worried about who they were friends with on Facebook having a negative impact on their reputation.

It was a great question. Your network is very important. Just like who you follow / like / subscribe to across other online platforms… it does paint a picture or offer a snapshot into your world. Are your friends lifting you up, or dragging you down?

People are looking to understand you, get a feel for your personality, character and values when they look you up online, everything they can see (or often not see) leads them to form their opinion of you… your reputation.

If you think these types of messages might be relevant for your students, staff or school, then I’d love to chat! I hate seeing reputations damaged and lives negatively impacted over easily avoidable mistakes and missteps made online.

My famous ‘Beach Ball’ also made an appearance! It was a real ‘Hit’! 🙂

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