flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

Engage in visual meaning making using still and moving images by sharing selfie or icon that represents you and your journey.


I’ve lost track of the amount of people who have complained that I do not look anything like what I do in my avatar. Some are shocked that I am not 50 or do not have a beard. Others question whether it is professional enough.The irony is that I chose the image because it was a portrayal of how someone else saw me.

A few years ago, when I was still working in Kerang, I was asked if I minded having my photograph taken for students to use in the creation of portraits. I said yes. A few weeks later a student dropped off a bunch of portraits to staff. I have no idea who created it, nor what that original looked like.

I still wonder if I should change my avatar. What does it mean to be professional in an online environment. I am really not sure. So what about you? What are your thoughts? As always, comments welcome.

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#WalkMyWorld #LE1 – Where I Begin by Aaron Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

7 thoughts on “#WalkMyWorld #LE1 – Where I Begin

  1. Hello Aaron,
    Selfishly speaking, I would like to be able to see the “real” you. Conversely, I’m able to spot your avatar quickly and easily. I might skim right past your tweets if they were garnered with something other than the bearded, colorful face. Say, I would like to buy you lunch. Since geography makes that a bit challenging, how about a video chat sometime? I’m feeling brave, and wanting to learn more about the man behind the ambiguous avatar. Think about it.

    • Real? Such an interesting concept. I will continue to ponder, although I do think a more authentic image might be better.
      We could share a digital lunch sometime even, until then you will have to live with this quality recording.

  2. Hi Aaron

    If you’re developing your online profile to connect with others than my belief is you should use a photo of yourself rather than an avatar and if possible your name. Your personal learning networks wants to connect with you as a person. The more able they are to easily visualize who you are the easier it is for them to connect.

    Photos and using your own name help build these connections. For example, I would also set up your display name (in Users > Your Profile) so it displays your name under your posts.

    For blogging with students I would probably use an avatar on the class and student blogs so that you are modelling how you want them to use avatars online.


    • Thank you so much for the comment Sue. I have changed my ‘display name’. I did not necessarily have it set as ‘Admin’ so glad to change it. I will continue to think about the avatar. I find it so interesting that we preach one thing to students and another to adults.

      • Hi Aaron, the username automatically displays unless you set up a display name. Self hosted WordPress creates the first user as admin.

        We’re trying to achieve two very different things when we’re using avatars for personal learning as an educator vs why we use avatars with students. Decisions on whether to use student photographs or not is often about protecting educators from having problems with parents, caregivers or administrators who have concerns about cyber-predators.

        We don’t have those same concerns when we use avatars for our own personal learning. There are some well known twitter users that choose not to use their photo however their avatar is very representative of them. For example, Sue Wyatt and Gwyneth Jones. If I wasn’t going to use a photo I would make it match more closely what I look like.


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