The first post of the ICATS 2013 30-Day Challenge is about managing your avatar on the web.  An avatar is an image that you upload to your user profile on a website or blog.  Do you have a square shaped picture of yourself that you keep handy to upload when you get on a website that has you setup a user profile?  If you do, this post will certainly change your online life!

Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?

Unbeknownst to our students, we teachers lead two very separate lives on the web – one professional and the other personal.  On social media websites and blogs, teachers many times have two different accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google,… and so on.  It’s difficult managing all these websites and it can be just as confusing trying to make sure you don’t post using the wrong account.  The avatar image that is visible on your user account can help you remember which account you are posting with, but if you use many different profile images all the time, this can create confusion.

Luckily, there is a tool that can help manage your avatar using one website that can be linked to your website/blog and your social media accounts.  This tool is called Gravatar – the Globally Recognized Avatar.

Watch the video below to learn about Gravatar.com.


Your Challenge

1. Go to Gravatar.com and create an account or login if you already have an account.
EVSC Employees Use your Outlook email address so it will automatically connect to your EVSC account on our website.

2. Upload an image to your Gravatar account that represents you professionally.

3. Click on My Profile on the menu bar and complete your Gravatar profile.  Link any websites or social networks you want connected to your Gravatar via the Verified Services section.

4. Save your Gravatar Profile when finished.

5. In the Comments section below, introduce yourself to the readers of our website.  Be sure to include your name, where you work or teach, and describe how you have managed your avatars in the past.

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How to Comment

Comment login
How to Comment

If you are an EVSC Employee, login to the website using the Orange Login button on the menu bar.  Once logged in, return to this post and click inside the comment box and submit your comment.

If you’re not an EVSC Employee, choose one of the social media login buttons available.

174 COMMENTS

  1. I teach Business/Technology in the 9th-12th grades at Gibson Southern High School (Fort Branch, IN)
    I used the Gravatar Tool for the first time today and really see a lot of uses for it as a teacher and for students.
    I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say.

  2. I just signed up for my Gravatar. I’m excited to see that it will associate a profile with the accounts that I select. In my role, it is important that I help people find my credentials and information easily. By using the Gravatar, I don’t have to take the time to constantly point folks to the different websites and resources that I am attached to. I’m looking forward to taking a longer look at how I can best complete that profile.

    One question I had was whether the Gravatar information would replace the biographical information that I alread have associated with an account like Blogger or Facebook. If anyone knows the answer to that, I’d love to know what you’ve learned before I associate those accounts with Gravatar:)

    • Tim,
      It does not look like it changes any profiles from your other pages, but rather pull’s them as links onto the Gravatar profile page. Your Gravatar profile shows as a landing page with your other pages as links: LinkedIN, Flickr, YouTube, etc…

    • I agree with Kris. I think if you have already established your avatar and info on your social networking accounts, I think the only thing that it will do is connect your social networking accounts to your Gravatar for use when you leave comments on websites and blogs.

      I’m going to experiment with something though. I don’t have a couple of the accounts listed in the Verified Services so I’m going to try and create one on Yahoo using my email address that I used when I setup my Gravatar and report back to see if it injects anything from Gravatar.

  3. I am Liz Murry and I teach ENL for the high schools. This is my first year at EVSC– we moved here from Saint Louis this fall and are still digging out of all the boxes.

    In the past i have always used different avatars on websites– I cut my teeth on LiveJournal, which encourages as many icons as possible– icon-making is an art form. I love the creativity involved in making a tiny little box an expression of yourself. So i will likely be switching out icons as I get bored. I realize that the idea of having an avatar is to make a person recognisable, but I just don’t believe that we stay the same.

    Thank you for the opportunity to play around on the web and learn!

  4. Thanks for starting the 30-day challenge. I have done a little bit in the past couple of years, but did not keep up with the challenge. Hopefully, I will make it through this year. I teach sixth grade math and science at Scott School. I love teaching 6th grade with our netbooks. In fact, I would not want to teach again where students did not have netbooks as a learning tool. There are so many things that are possible with netbooks. It takes teaching to a whole new level. The research capabilities are endless. My students love creating digital projects. I hope to get them started on Prezi’s this grading period.

  5. This seems like it will be a great tool to use. I have only had an avatar on My Big Campus, so I am interested to see how this will work. I think it will have a lot of uses across different platforms. I think students could use this, but I would want to review/discuss digital citizenship and online safety issues.

  6. Greetings,

    Katie, Congrats on being the first to take on the Day 1 Challenge!

    My Name is Kris Gordon and I am an Innovation Curriculum and Technology Specialist (ICATS) with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. In the past I have always tried to use the same image (avatar) on the websites I use. It was at the least a challenge to keep updated, but with Gravatar it is going to be much easier from now on.

    On another note….. We are very excited to bring you the third annual 30 Day Challenge and hope that you enjoy learning together. Today is an easy one to get your feet wet.

    Again, create your Gravatar and then introduce yourself to the group.

  7. Danielle Neel coming to you from AIS – Diamond where I teach Social Studies in the high school. Having two separate lives on the Internet, this makes it so much easier to remember which one I am using. In the past, I have just tried to remember which was which but with Gravatar, everything is so much simpler!

  8. John Wells here at EVSC’s Reitz High School. I teach high school English and journalism, advise student publication, and help push for more technology in the classroom through EVSC’s CODE and CORE groups.

    I just made my avatar, but in the past I have just used multiple accounts with different access for different people. But as I have done more with digital citizenship and modeling good online behavior, I have slowly been consolidating all my online activity and given almost everyone those profiles.

    • I think it’s great, especially when working with students and teachers/educators from other districts, that we can have something that quickly identifies us and is the same. It helps people make connections and helps students find us :)

  9. Jennifer Brandt, I teach German at Harrison High School, Gravatar was quick and very easy to use. I have never created or managed an avatar before. But I definitely like to streamline things, so this will help.

  10. I know it’s early, but I have created and used my Gravatar! In fact, I can see it right now below this post :)

    My name is Katie Hutchinson and I am an eLearning Coach for Greater Clark County Schools in Jeffersonville, IN.

    In the past, I have things all over the place. Twitter, Google+, WordPress. I try to keep the same picture and bios but it gets everywhere. Now I have my Gravater that can keep me connected! The thing I loved most is that by creating my Gravatar, I am now following blogposts and making more connections. It’s streamlining and creating more at the same time! So click my Gravatar and check me out on Twitter. And Google. And Pinterest. I’m everywhere now…

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