Week 3 – Online pitfalls and personal productivity


  • Face-to-face and online: The class will meet this week, and activities to do on your own are also on deck.
  • Synchronous and asynchronous: Live conversations will occur during class time, and everything else will be on your own time.


There is some crappy stuff concerning me on the Internet— both stuff that I’ve produced and stuff that’s been written about me by other people. It’s not even a matter of blog posts or comments; I’m ashamed of some scholarly articles I’ve written and published! So what embarrasses me online is not just content I wrote foolishly but also content that I wrote with the intention of it being public and persistent. My way to cope with this is to constantly put up new content on the Internet that clouds out the past. To make a presence that’s much more present me than past me. Can you still get to the past? Yeah, but it will take you some time. And that’s part of the point— stalking me is creepy when it takes you that much effort. My way of coping with persistence is to create a living presence, frame my own story in an ongoing way, and creating a digital self that is constantly evolving not to escape but to mature —danah boyd

(From Rheingold, Howard; Weeks, Anthony (2012-02-24). Net Smart (Kindle Locations 3085-3088). MIT Press. Kindle Edition.)

In addition to formal face-to-face  introductions and discussing the format of the course, this week is devoted to addressing issues of using the web, such as privacy, copyright, reputation management, trolling, spamming, phishing, and strategies for you to avoid online traps. We will also tackle personal productivity tips and tricks in managing information overload.


  • Establish a face-to-face rapport during our first class meeting.
  • Get everyone familiar with the tools used for this course.
  • Reflect on dangers and opportunities of using open online spaces.
  • Reflect on your personal web 2.0 toolkit, and how to make it more effective.

Action items

1. Show up to our first face-to-face class. Ideally, everyone should attend this meeting physically, but I will accommodate remote attendees through our UD Capture live stream and Google Hangouts on air. Contact the instructor if you know you’ll miss this class. Make sure to bring your laptop and mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) to class. Materials >

2. Later in the week, watch the following video: Overexposed.

3. Watch the two following videos featuring Stephen Mangat, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at the University of Delaware:

4. Watch Beware Online Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser.

5. Read this blog post from danah boyd about her experience with a presentation at the Web 2.0 Expo in 2009.

6. Watch this video from Lydia Timmins about the quality of the information you find online.

7. Read this article by Clive Thompson titled The Cyborg Advantage.

8. Following our in-class discussions and ideas from the previous items, write a blog post about dangers and opportunities of using the web, some potential strategies to avoid pitfalls, and ways to manage information overload, from a personal point of view (don’t jump into classroom usage yet, this is a reflection on your personal information management practices). Try to incorporate at least two new sources (blog posts, videos, articles, etc.) in your post.

9. Submit the URL of your blog post to the assignment titled Week 3: Blog post on Canvas. The submission is due by 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, EDT, and will be graded as a part of the weekly projects.

10. Check the course’s class feed for other posts by colleagues, and comment on their posts. You should at least read and comment on two or three posts, but you’re welcome to visit as many as you want. As a part of the online participation grade, you should also contribute and discuss on the different social media outlets, such as Diigo, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

More to explore

Check our Diigo group and check for related tags.

One thought on “Week 3 – Online pitfalls and personal productivity

  1. Pingback: Pintrest and Twitter and Blogs, Oh My! The Yellow Brick Road of the Web. | Jann Marie EDUC

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