1. Patricia

    I thought this was a great message, thanks for this. I totally agree, especially with Bud Hunt's quote. @PatriciaVCaroca

  2. jonelle

    I agree this is a great message for all–if I followed through and committed to Twitter I would RT this. I have had many students tell me that "Facebook is for family and Twitter is for friends." Yikes! I think everyone should consider differentiating between public and private. I don't think it is about "being a nicer person" it is about being wise and using the skills that you have/ can have to place appropriate and responsible postings/images of yourself online.

  3. It is such a huge paradigm shift for folks to think this way, and it seems to be especially tough for many schools to think about how this affects the day-to-day interactions with students. I have had many conversation with administrators, teachers, parents and students about sharing online and how each of their viewpoints are different.

    I am reminded of the February, 2011 EducationLeadership article by Will Richardson – Publishers, Participant All- where he makes the case that learning on the web doesn't end by hitting publish, but by then learning from, and with, strangers online. These ideas personal and professional, pub
    In and private, certainly aren't mutually exclusive.

  4. LIsa Noble

    I love the example of the mechanic being hired – which one would you hire. I talk with my students about using their Web powers "for good, not evil", and I think that's the key. Yes, what you post is going to stay out there. Yes, people are going to be able to get a sense of who you are from what you post. So….?

  5. Nice reflections, George. One of the observations that many will want to make about the emerging generation of connected youth is that they are less able to blur the lines between public and private because they are already pretty blurry! Perhaps these are constructs that are less apparent for the "connected generation" than they are for others.

  6. mrjtyler

    Great observations George. I wrestle with this regularly as I promote teachers' use of Social Media. I think you are right, the blur is really becoming more clear – whether we create "personal" or "professional" accounts – whatever we do online is there to stay. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Big T / T-Dog / Mr T

    Nice. Right there with you on blurring public & private, no to students on FB, yes if they want to follow on Twitter for all the same reasons. I wish to live in a way that my online persona is not at odds with my identity, values, or character. The Hunt quote hits a huge bullseye, although I do think we need a means of being goofy and irreverent online if we want to be real people in all of our incarnations. Do we always need be tactful and polite dealing with things like workplace incompetence or systemic failures? The ability to pursue a "pure" path, free of a false dichotomy between professional and personal, is complicated by the the gag orders (real or perceived, justified or not) that many people face in public professions (like education). I think about the role of SM in protests and uprisings, and it seems clear that we sometime need to push some boundaries and let allow the personal to scream through to the public. Seth Godin's quote leaves me thinking, too. If the basic premise is to live deliberately and suck the marrow from life, then yes, fill google with the good stuff you do. The tendency for SM to act as an echo-chamber, however, and the constant effort to establish a personal brand, can easily turn it into valid identity-work and turn it into narcissism. There is also the question of whether the grand use of SM for revealing and celebrating self favours the extroverts. Thanks for the thoughts, George… always appreciated.

  8. tinastar22

    Thanks for your thoughts on this George. I was caught in a dilemma recently when a parent followed me on Twitter but after a couple of messages to you I felt ok about it. It just hit home how open Twitter was but in this case, my student was able to show her father her artwork of George through my Twitter account. She was so proud that her dad had connected on Twitter and he on the other hand, felt more connected with his child's learning through her teacher .
    Timely post George 🙂

  9. Great post and thoughts on this. I agree 100% as I would not post any thing on my personal account that I would not post on my professional account. The rule of thumb should be: If you would not post that on your professional account, maybe you should not be posting it at all.

  10. Ideas that are certainly worth considering and revisiting frequently. The concept of being an ostrich and placing our heads and lives in the sand is only going to work but for so long. As I have preached to my students for so long, there needs to be a pause between the stimulus and the response, so it is with our “online” lives. If we pause long enough to consider, “Is this the best that I can be?” If not, use the backspace button rather than the enter, yes?

  11. […] This knowledge has me very cautious about invading what my students see as their space (Twitter) and quite determined to teach and model digital citizenship. I’ve tried to be clear about how Twitter is a public space unless tweets are protected. We’ve discussed the use of multiple accounts (one for more casual content and one for school), but that model has limitations as well. George Couros has an excellent post on the difference between personal&professional versus public&private. […]

  12. […] Blogging is a personal and professional periodical forum. A professional blog can showcase your talent for potential employers, clients or schools. A personal blog is focused on private opinions and beliefs, emphasizing persona, voice and style. Many companies use blogs covering news and updates – an essential part of business growth – sometimes with a personal edge (*i.e. see Founder Joel Gascoigne’s posts on company Buffer‘s blog). A blog could be arguably essential for professional success (as well as mental health), but how to find the line between what should be public vs. private and personal vs. professional? […]

  13. Aviva Dunsiger

    I totally agree with what you’re saying here. I’m often asked if I have a personal and professional account, and I don’t. I use one, and I have parents as well as educators following me. I’ll sometimes tweet about my dinners, dogs, coffee, or parking, and most of the time, I’ll share my thoughts on education. The same is true of my “professional” blog. As I mentioned to someone not that long ago, I’m very aware of my varied audience — for both my blog and my tweets — and I try to think before I post. I’ve read danah boyd’s IT’S COMPLICATED that gives a new spin on teenagers making mistakes in the public realm, and while I understand her points, I do think that there’s lots of value to having adults and students consider what we share publicly versus privately.


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