Week 1 Activity: Set up an anonymous Google account using an alias

The first activity is to establish a new, anonymous, web-based Google account specifically for this course. Your account will give you access to a wide variety of other Google products and services including those that we will use throughout the course. Participants will use Google Blogger as an electronic portfolio for all activities for the class. Graham Attwell describes e-Portfolios–the DNA of the Personal Learning Environment? .

Confidentiality and online security are considerations when working in an online environment. The internet has profoundly changed society but we are only beginning to develop the tools and strategies for examining the effect. One theorist, dana boyd, studies the effect of online social networking. Her book, It's complicated: The social lives of networked teen provides some useful insights.

While many of the risks and hazards tend to be sensationalized in the mainstream media, it is important to be aware of "web-proofing" strategies to avoid problems. One of the most basic principles is "security through obscurity" and the use of anonymous accounts.

When you set up your Google account for this course do not use your real name. Use an generic alias that does not give clues about your name, age or gender and one that will not attract the attention of web search engines. You can use a series of letters and numbers in combination, for example, "abc222@gmail.com". We will be using a number of online applications that will require a user name, a password and an active email account. Please select an alias for your user name and a password that you will be able to use in multiple accounts. The best way to determine if your alias meets the course requirement for anonymity is to Google it. A truly anonymous account should return no search results.

You can set up multiple Google accounts for other purposes and use your real name later if you like, but for the purpose of this course we will only use anonymous Google accounts set up with an alias. Accounts that do not conform to this protocol will not be reviewed for grading.

To set up a Google account, go to this link and fill in the form and follow the instructions. On the form you will use your alias in the field that asks for your "Desired Logon Name.

YouTube video will guide you through the steps of setting up a Google account.

Once you have set up a Google account use it to create your Blogger eportfolio for this class. This video will review the basics.

Once you have set up an ANONYMOUS Google account and your blog please send me a message at ggatin+03361@ggatin.com from your new Gmail account. Indicate your real name in the body of the message.

Richard Byrne's playlist of tutorials for 82 Google Applications.

See also Microblogging.