I am bit behind in my blogging challenge. It has taken me a while to do this fourth challenge of the Teacher Challenge. I think it was because I have never made an avatar of myself and I feel in a way that it is unnecessary for me to do so as I am very comfortable having my photo represent me.
I feel that Leslie Raffelson expresses it well when she says "Over the past 10 years or so, I have developed an online presence that is me. It isn’t an alter ego or someone different. I don’t behave differently online and therefore am not going to create an ‘alias’. I want people to be able to connect me through whatever site they are on."
As the author of this blog I use the image that my daughter took of me and that I used in the 365 photo challenge to indicate me and I also use it on Twitter, Facebook and Diigo. This ensures that I will be recognised, as Murcha says: "What do you look like? Will I remember you next time you visit? How do I know it is you? Will you look the same everywhere in the cyberworld?"
This is the very important issue of creating a digital identity that is part of the words you write, the comments you leave and the links you save. I admit that I will have to change the photo as I get older as already I don't quite look like this anymore.
However, like Leslie, I think that it is appropriate to teach students to be wise as to what images of themselves are associated with their online presence. I taught secondary school students when I was in the classroom and after they understood what it was that I had to teach them about this issue (and not just me but other teachers and influential adults in their lives) I left it up to them as to whether they made an avatar or used a suitable photo of themselves, or a favourite pet. I think the skill of knowing how to make an avatar is a good one and so I have made this one so that I can teach other teachers who have younger students or who teach in a school where it is policy that a student's photo is not allowed to be used. And in completing this challenge I learnt things, as I always do when I blog.
I found a list of avatar making sites. I found that zwinky cannot be used on macs. In the end I used Be Funky and had lots of fun with this.