Blog Archives

EDTECH 541: Safety Advice for my Students

Safety advice for my students:

  • Do not give out any specific personal information like your street address or your bank account number. You can say that you live in Baltimore and bank at BB&T, but nobody needs to know the details about you. Even if you have Skyped or done a Google Hangout and you think you are now best buds, unless you actually know this person and have truly seen who they are and what they do, assume the worst. If you have never seen the person, always assume that an “anonymous” person is some lewd person who only wants to rob you for your money or your identity. Paranoid yet?
  •  Don’t piss anyone off. Sure, you don’t know me yet, so I really don’t have the freedom to be so liberal with my words, but I want them to stick. Don’t say anything or suggest anything that would embarrass the most proper person you know. So if you have an old-fashioned grandmother who finds words like the ones I’m using to be offensive, ask yourself before you hit send (or enter) if what you are saying would offend your grandmother.
    • This is how I had to learn how to temper my words and attitude. Do not be angry with yourself if you find that you need to retake your temperament inventory more often than you expected. I am one who has a very hard time imagining real people with real feelings or emotions when all I see in front of me is a computer screen, and occasionally a really cute cat. Just like I have posted on my screen to copy before I submit, I really should post something like, “Do you really want to say that to Grandma?” (or my boss or to whatever person scares me the most)
  •  Don’t offer to help anybody in person. This goes along with #1, but instead of having someone come to you and bother you, don’t go to them and have them take you to who knows where. Let the wires and hardware maintain a barrier between you and anybody you meet online.
  •  If you were not paranoid yet, please allow me to remind you that once something goes on the Internet, it will always be available, at least in theory. The wayback machine website captures images of what has changed on the Internet continuously. In theory you can go to any website and look at how it existed in the past. So if you tell someone you love them in a Tweet that shows up on some person’s webpage, there is a chance this declaration will be saved forever. As tempting as it is to start a blog and get your name out there, you still need to be cautious to not be so controversial that you cause yourself to lose a job, or possibly not even get hired in the first place. The Internet currently has an endless memory. Once you post something, you have started creating your digital identity. [For more information about the Wayback Machine, check out the article from the New Yorker:]


where electronic aggression happens

Cyberbullying data

  • Do onto others as you would have them do unto you. (or something like that)  Be nice. Don’t say hurtful or mean things, even in jest. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve offended someone who did not appreciate my sense of humor. Even the little j/k or <grin> is not enough to get someone else to interpret what I said as a joke. You don’t want to accidentally invite someone to become more interested in you than as a regular person they interact with online. Just like we can’t really make gestures to people who anger us on the road because we don’t know if they are going to pull out a gun and shoot us, we should not make rude or uncomfortable suggestions online.
    • I have had to develop a sense of humor. After all, I enjoy spending time with teenagers. Even though I take their needs and concerns seriously, I can’t let myself be grossly offended every time one of them leaves me a message indicating s/he is displeased with something I have done, or not done.  I have come to learn, the hard way, that I am somewhat rare with this personality trait. It is almost like, if it can be misinterpreted and can tick off someone, it will.  I’ve gone to workshops and I learned the “QTIP” mantra at a Fred Pryor seminar. It stands for quit taking it personally. Fortunately my husband was with me and sometimes when I’ve said or done something that has obviously offended him, I have to say “q-tip” because I am just making comments to vent my frustrations. They are not being directed at him. The q-tip diffuses the situation. You can’t q-tip strangers. It just does not work that way. If you can think before doing, and think before saying, you will do well, my grasshopper.  In case it is not obvious, cyberbullying falls in this area. Don’t do it, even as a joke. Respect everybody, their opinions, their backgrounds, their demographics, their ideas, or even what they wear in the lower third (a Google Hangout reference). You don’t have to agree with anything they do or say, but you don’t have to tell them how much you disagree with them. You can just let them be happy in their own little world. You don’t have to share yours or your opinions with them.

For more information check out:

About the Internet archive. (2014). Retrieved from

Cronin, C. (2012, December 19). Enacting digital identity. Retrieved March 4, 2015, from

Cyberbullying. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2015, from

Internet Safety. (2015). Retrieved March 4, 2015, from

Lepore, J. (2015, January 26). The cobweb: Can the Internet be archived? The New Yorker. Retrieved from

National Children’s Advocacy Center. (2015). Retrieved March 4, 2015, from

Safety tips. (2010, September 14). Retrieved from

To accompany the idea of being safe online, we created an Internet activity this week. Mine can be found at: I am asking students to create presentations online that address the issue of vaccination, with a focus on Measles. If you are interested, I hope you will visit my project page for EDTECH 541 this week.

My Digital Footprint Plan

My digital footprint plan:

1.    Start using my middle initial in professional postings that would otherwise just have my first and last names.

2.    Finish developing my background information at various sites. The Google I did of myself pulled up a site where I started my portfolio, but did not really finish it. If the stats at that site are correct, my portfolio came up over 1000 times when people did a search just based on the brief information I put there. If I am truly looking for another job, then I should take some time to finish that profile.

image of links using my name as search in Google

Google Me page 1


A second page of Melissa Getzes

3.    I have already been designing my digital footprint. I got my first non-school based email address in 1994 and because of the way I was raised, I have been as cautious as possible with what I put online. My husband attends def-con every August and likes to remind me of the permanency of the Internet.  This resource talks about how our online presence is shaped by our  “ideas and beliefs about identity, privacy, voice, authenticity and power.” Catherine Cronin mentions a hesitation as well as an active sense of being involved in an online community , and that hit me strongly because my success in online courses should not be determined based on my sense of identity and safety, but my enthusiasm and the degree to which I will push myself to share myself with others is definitely determined by how the course is shaped.

4.    Do more Twitter chats. I don’t know how much I’ll be using GetzTech, but I am sure glad I am not using ntropi for our assignments because there are people following me and I don’t want to share my assignment tweets with them because I like to craft my tweets from my passions and not based on obligations.  I already have a history of passionate chats @ntropi so I may be judicious about which chats I am @ntropi and which ones I am @getztech because after I am done with the obligatory tweets, I could turn @getztech into a powerful mouthpiece.

5.    Branching out with my name. I’ve already started with my EdTech learning log being Melissa Getz’s learning log. I put on my resume. I will probably have forward to Embrace Challenge because that is where I first started building my world about me. Just last month I created for my students. This is where I am putting up tutorials for chemistry students, showcasing my students’ projects, and putting up step-wise videos to help students see how they are supposed to do their projects. The resource, You need to be clickable, came close to describing what I already do so I listed it as the resource.  The Modeling for Students part is exactly what I am doing in the Examples section at GetzGuides.

6.    Buy my name domain name. I’ve already done what is mentioned in this reference, but I need to continue with a plan so I’m mentioning it here. Of course there is more I need to do to develop each of these names / websites into a representation of me.  I have paid at least $10 a year for these names and I bought them at least a few years ago so that someone else would not take it. I am going to let the .me domains expire because they are still expensive and if the other Melissa Getz wants to pay for it, she can have it. Yes, I have already become familiar with the other Melissa Getz, thus me putting the “B” in my first step. Her middle initial is not a B and she is a teacher.

Note: Handley is my married name that I have not taken yet because I don’t know how to merge Melissa Handley into being recognized the same as Melissa Getz. I want to take my husband’s name because I don’t have any major affinity to “getz”. Getz is my stepfather’s name; he adopted my brother and me when we were little. There is no way my students were going to be able to say Gomborov so I did not use my genetic father’s name as a professional.
As for ntropi, I really hoped that is how I would be known in my professional life. When I worked for UC Berkeley and had to be professional, I  bought the domain name “melgetz” so people could email me easily. just did not make sense to most people and it became tiresome explaining it to them. I became in 2005.


7.    Maintain my Melissa Getz Facebook account and see if I can get Melissa B Getz added to it somehow.  This resource mentions how employers look us up at our Facebook accounts.  I hope they do. I am very proud of what I have done with my life and where it is going. I want to show off where I have worked and that many of my “friends” are former students who still let me know what they are doing in their lives. I love “liking” the pictures of their babies and notices of degrees they are earning or jobs they are getting. I am so proud of my students that in so many ways, my Facebook account is a way for me to keep track of them and continue to celebrate their successes. I want future employers to see who I have had an opportunity to influence and what has become of these kids, in part, because their high school teachers let them know they could become whomever they wanted to be.

8.    Why I am getting multiple accounts at popular places like Twitter and Facebook. It is really easy for me to lose jobs. The main reason I’ve been losing them so easily is because my body is a piece of profanity. It is like I really get into having a job and then something goes wrong. I started with vertigo in Dec 2009 and fortunately my current acupuncture doctor managed to clear that up in 2012. I am still being dizzy, though. I thought we had kicked the dizziness and then a couple weeks ago, it started up again. I am most worried about losing my current jobs because my idiotic body can’t handle it. I’ve already gone on a break with EO so at the moment I really only have 1 job and this class. Even so, I’m still fighting the dizziness by drinking really nasty tasting Chinese herbs. What does this have to do with multiple online accounts? I need accounts that are “clean” so that I can use them in school settings. If I were to do Facebook with students, I would use the Mel Getz account. I created it so that I could be a student and so that if I ever had students that I did projects with online in the Facebook environment, it would be my professional Facebook location. After they graduate, they can call me Melissa and I am happy to be their social Facebook friend. Before they graduate, I am either Ms Melissa or Ms Getz. I am not there to be their friend when they are my student, but if we happen to develop a friendship, I’m not going to fight it. I need to segregate my professional life from my social one, even though they tend to blend together and my body does not understand the concept of boundaries.  This particular reference applies to getting fired because of what I say online. I do not have one of my websites listed at Twitter, Facebook, or Linked In because I do use that space to say things that are not always complimentary. If I can manage to keep that blog separate from my professional me, I will be very happy. Needless to say, I have not posted there in about a year because I am afraid that what I say may cause me to not get hired somewhere.

9.    Continue to develop @GetzTech with a professional flair.

10.    Continue to attend webinars and chats and say nice things.
Reference: common sense, although some people may appreciate my cynicism

11.    Start a Follr site
I’ll be doing a free personal Follr site at first to keep track of where I have all of my fingers online.
Another reference: webinar on Conflicting Visions of Cloud Identity

12.    Read the resources on Digital Identity Management even though downloading the manual caused Firefox to crash. Restarting Firefox finally let the other pdf load: The Value of Our Digital Identity
Reference: and  and and

APA formatted references:

Cameron, K. (2012, May 5.) Conflicting Visions of Cloud Identity. Retrieved from

Koekemoer, A. (2012, July 8). Your digital footprint in a social media world. Retrieved from

Popkin, Helen A.S. (2009, March 23). Twitter gets you fired in 140 characters or less.  Retrieved from

Richardson, W. (2008, June 1). You Need to be “Clickable”. Retrieved from

Shareski, D. (2008, June 16).  Is your identity worth $10 a year? Retrieved from

A copy of what I wrote for the assignment may be found by clicking here. At least the APA is formatted properly there 🙂