Alexander Welch

Luck Is For The Ill-Prepared

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An End To #UOSM2033? Summary of the Module


Living and working on the web has helped me in those exact areas. In effect it has ‘done what it says on the tin’. Prior to this module I was not a member of the twitter community, I did not have a linked in profile and I did not realise the extent to which employers used an amalgamation of online profiles in order to recruit. Moreover the topic spread lead to interesting individual and cooperative research.

What have I learnt?


Self Created Using Piktochart, Alexander Welch (2017)

Difficulties Encountered? How Did I Turn Them Around?

The biggest difficulty I faced was getting all my inforTweet Two.PNGmation within the allocated word count. This was overcome as my ability to produce info-graphics developed. I was able to put forwards my findings through media format in order to save words.
I also found that I ended up speaking to the same students regularly as they were the ones who gave intellectual criticism and presented different arguments. The three most notably were Zac, Arthur and Joe. Because of the ways in which they approached this module, it tweet-onewas easy for me to learn and to give extra sources in return over multiple online platforms (see below).

Both Tweets Available via the #UOSM2033 Twitter handle

The discussion which developed after Topic 5’s post was a particular highlight when it came to learning something new.


Image Available at Alexander Welch’s WordPress:

How Will I Apply What I Have Learnt?

Video Self-Created using Powtoon, Alexander Welch (2017).

I am a cautious person when it comes to the internet, however through a combination of learning about the research areas, as well as putting into practice what I have learnt (creating a Linked In account), I feel more well versed with facing the employability opportunities available.

Linked In.PNG

Image: Linked In Account of Alexander Welch, Available at

I have consistently mentioned the site ‘About Me’ through my work. At the moment the financial cost of making an account is deterring me. However once I have a stable income stream I would be more than happy to make an account and link all of my profiles together. I believe this will give me the biggest exposure for employers, who can see an accurate and fair representation of who I am online and that that reflects what I am like in real life.

What for the future of my online activity? Living? Working? Or Both!


Self Created using Piktochart, Alexander Welch (2017)

Obtaining a degree in BSc Criminology I have a general idea of what areas of work I would like to go into. If successful then I will be involved in a lot of research driven projects. I would like to continue blogging using my research in my career as the focal point. I don’t believe that I will use my blog for sharing my recreational experiences or feelings but instead have adopted twitter as a form of sharing information and thoughts surrounding my hobbies. This module has demonstrated the importance of having a representative and professional online profile and I believe that the way in which I use different online platforms gives the viewer (whatever the environment) exactly that!

The internet being the internet we are all always learning new and exciting things, and I have no doubt that the years spanning my career will bring further opportunities to enhance that knowledge.

Word Count: 512


Arthur Boulding’s Word Press, Available at:

Zachary Cohen’s Word Press, Available at:

Joe Burke’s Word Press, Available at:

Alexander Welch’s Word Press, Available at:

Image of Alexander Welch’s LinkedIn Account, Available at:

Tweets Available at:

Self Created Images Using Piktochart, Alexander Welch (2017)

Self Created Video Using Powtoon, Alexander Welch (2017)

Topic Five: Reflective Post

I was intrigued that Arthur and I covered a similar topic this week, and that despite this there were multiple aspects of his work I had only researched briefly.

Video self created using Powtoon, (Welch, 2016)

Beyond Open Access: Who Has Access?

Internetlivestats define a user as ‘having an active internet subscription service, and the individual household member must have access to it at any time (there must be no barriers preventing the individual from using the Internet)’ (2016). Therefore from the statistics they provide, this is the total number of people who are capable of learning from free online content. Theoretically of course. This then got me thinking about possible reasons people would turn to the internet for educational material, excluding ease of access which I had already mentioned in my blog.

Image One: Internet Population and Penetration

I came across this article on twitter posted by ‘The Economist’ . The main thing I took from this article was that ‘Policy makes a difference. Attending nursery or extra language tuition helps migrants catch up. Limiting selection by academic ability gives them more time to make up ground’ (Economist, 2016). ‘In France, for example, just 40% of second-generation immigrants say they feel as if they belong in school (Economist, 2016). If open access materials were pushing by leading figures in the French educational field then maybe the promotion of using these in the pupils own time in a comfortable environment would help raise this startlingly low figure? Food for thought as there is an increasing push in the ‘west’ for online learning. Both of these were issues that were brought about from my brief discussion with Arthur.

Newspaper Paywalls

With regards to my other comment and its discussion. Zac has previously mentioned that his specialty was economics, and through my questions into the specific market of newspaper paywalls I was met with persuasive and well-articulated academic responses. Despite being more subject based and less opinionated? I learned a lot about a topic I was previously very unfamiliar.

Word Count: 316


Image One: Available at

Video One: Available at

Economist (2016) Where immigrants go to school is more important than where they came from. Available at

Internet Live Stats (2016) Internet users. Available at

Comment (Zac):

Comment (Arthur):

Comment (Alex-Myself):

What are the advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online?

The amount of content created every day is astronomical when looking across all online platforms. The info-graphic below helps demonstrate just how much this equates to!

data never sleeps

(Tepper, 2012)

However, let’s focus this onto academia and the pros/cons of content producers making their publications freely available.


Creating free content in the realm of education is a topic in which it is easy to see the pros and cons. If the motive behind the producer of academic content is not for financial gain then there are numerous additional reasons to support open access. With the access to knowledge, the only barrier is an internet connection. ‘It is possible for anyone to learn anything that they are interested in, with the online resources available’ (Rachelimrq, 2014). This isn’t limited to academic articles, demonstrated by the production of youtube tutorial videos on everything from playing musical instruments to applying makeup. ‘This is how shared knowledge multiplies, and it adds value to every individual who benefited from this free materials’ (Rachelimrq, 2014). As Rachel makes clear, free access leads to more exposure which in her view, benefits every party involved.


A video below shows the basic benefits of ‘open access’ to creators and viewers alike.

Video Self-Created using Powtoon (Welch, 2016)


However what are the costs to a creator from making their work free?

Creators may have to pay a publication charge if submitting to leading journals. A disadvantage of open access is that the creator receives no revenue for their free publication meaning if they do not have an academic body funding them, then they will have to pay to make their work free.’ A problem addressed in the video is that ‘publishers also worry about who is accessing their work, they don’t want their materials misquoted or falsely represented’ (Higgins, 2014). Open access tries to protect against this through the promotion of citation academic journals, however it is hard to stop people ‘ripping’ off your work if there is significant ease of access.

After briefly discussing some of the pros and cons of free educational content, what is the online movement towards paywalls (payment for content)?



Image Two: Self-Produced (Welch, 2016)

If the majority of online content is ‘expected to be behind paywalls in the next three years’ (Lepitak, 2013) then is the publication of academic work going to move away being free and easily accessible? Let me know your thoughts on: a) What’s best for online educational content b) The effect of paywalls on this (positive and negative) c) Personal experiences with any of the aforementioned!

Word Count: 415


Lepitak, S (2013) 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests Available at: 

Rachelimrq (2014) Available at:

Higgins, L (2014) Available at:

Image One. Tepper, A. (2012). How Much Data Is Created Every Minute? Available at:

Image Two. Welch (2016) Self-created using piktochart

Video. Welch (2016) Self-created using Powtoon




Topic Four: Reflective Writing

Image result for teachers using social mediaThis Topic has been the most interesting for me up to this point. This is because of the array of differing subjects which my fellow student have chosen to research. I chose the unwritten rules which society places on teachers and the way this ethically impacts their online activity. I was aware that Joe also wrote about a similar topic. I used my research to question his blog and use my knowledge on ‘vulnerability of teachers’, Joe’s response consolidated my views from topic three’s authentic and professional profile, where he suggests that self-filtering of their online profile is his recommendation for teachers in future practice.

Zac’s post targeted discrimination in football. As a massive football fan, I am well versed will the official procedures inside a stadium, however the online realm is not so clear cut. It was clear that Zac and I have differing of opinions regarding the subject. I believe in heavy punishment from the FA, however his response to this is that clubs restriction on players could impact their freedom online. This changed my view slightly as it is comparable to the restrictions teachers’ face, as their profession online profile is therefore not authentic.

Image result for say no to racism in football

Image Two: Football Unites Racism Divides

My views were changed the most by Arthur, his post lead to an in-depth discussion which included Zac. The role of cookies is a topic in which I was previously unfamiliar. After reading the discussion and adding to it, I developed a balanced view of the role of incognito mode and that of cookies. Arthur’s focus on the role of scammers and how that can be affected through cookies changed my original views on lackadaisical use of incognito. Before, incognito was something which I used for shopping in secret, however now, is something which is beneficial to my online security and therefore online experience as a whole.

Word Count: 301



Image One available at:

Image Two avialable at:

The Unethical Consequences of Societal Expectation of Student-Teacher Relations.

The public conception of students and teachers not communicating on social media is that this is for the protection of students.

Image result for teacher-pupil relationship
Image One: Available at

However the ethical implication on the teacher are often overlooked. Teachers are accountable for their personal opinions outside of a professional sphere, and have taken measures to avoid repercussions which infringe on their freedom of speech and social media promotion of their private lives simply due to their profession. Is this part and parcel of the career they have chosen to pursue? Or in fact is it ethically wrong – the expectations that teachers adhere to?

Video created by Myself using Powtoon.

Given the amount of caution in which teachers view social interaction with students online, Ike Smith (Director of Instructional Support Services for Watauga Country Schools) suggests that ‘teachers may not know if or how to interact with their students professionally online’ (Smith, 2016).


‘Teachers are required to uphold the reputation of the school, to maintain reasonable standards in their own behaviour, and to uphold public trust in their profession’ (Childnet, 2011). This raises ethical issues surrounding the freedom of speech because ‘reasonable’ is subjective to the party viewing any status updates or tweets from a teachers account. Below is a personal example.


Mr Strother, posted (now removed) comments surrounding Brexit and the refugee ‘crisis’. Comments, which although well justified and were his personal view, were attacked by former pupils criticizing his opinions saying that ‘someone in his position’ should not comment on social media around ‘sensitive’ topics.

Image Two: Mike Strother (Director of Admission at the Manchester Grammar School).


Having addressed some of the problems with the full expression of individual views and how this infringes on ‘freedom of speech’. The next logical step is to look at whether students should socially interact with their teachers at all.


Image Three: Self Produced by Alexander Welch using Piktochart, Statistics obtained from Childnet (pie chart) and Fleming (2014) (bar chart).


A friend of mine has been studying German at university and was required to teach young students English and this is the reaction I got when asking her why she changed her name.orlaith

Image Four: Taken from my personal Facebook messenger

Below is the well-articulated summery from Jesse Fletcher, who provides a concise presentation of the strains teachers unethically suffer from when just ‘doing their job’. Please ignore the final, semi-cropped sentence.


Image Five: Fletcher (2016)

It is easy to see the reasons behind the caution of teacher-pupil interaction on social media however as Fletcher goes on to conclude in her post, ‘Education is already underpaid, under-respected, and under-served. It won’t take much to trigger a chain reaction to drive even more of the talented few out of the profession’ (Fletcher, 2016). After researching this topic, it is equally clear that teachers are subject to unethical social expectations which impact their online activity.

Word Count: 417


Smith, I. (2016) Responsible Teacher: Social Media Conduct Available at: 

Roson, J. (2015) How One Stupid Tweet Blew up Justine Sacco’s Life Available at

Childnet International (2011) Social Networking: A Guide For Trainee Teachers and NQTs Available at:

Fleming, A. (2014) Social Media Boundaries: Should Teachers and Students be ‘Friends’? Available at:

Fletcher, J. (2016) Should Teachers Be Allowed To Contact Students Through Social Media? Available at:

E-Safety Support (2014) What Every Teacher Needs To Know About Social Media Available at:

The Guardian Online (2014) Twitter Abuse: Easy On The Messenger Available at: 

Image One: Available at

Image Two: Available at

Image Three: Created Myself, Available at

Image Five: Available at

Video: Created Myself, Available at 

Topic Three: Reflective Writing

This Topic surrounding the ‘authenticity’ of ‘professional’ online profiles is one which on face value, a lot of students gleamed the same information. The discussion with other students did not change my opinions on the topic, mainly because my views are rather strong, but did enable me to see ideas from differing viewpoints. However, credit has to go to Joe, whose idea that no matter what your profession, and who sees your social media sites, a certain base level of professionalism should be expected. His stress on the idea of a ‘personal brand’ answered my questions and manipulated my thoughts surrounding ‘personal levels of filtering’. Despite not agreeing entirely with Joe, it was useful to step back and contemplate his thought process and the reasoning behind such, and in doing so, is easy to see how he came to his conclusions.

Zac provided a more personal experience of developing an authentic professional online profile. I liked applying Joe’s analysis of ‘personal filtering’ to Zac’s work and questioned him about such. His responses, coupled with my own opinion and Joe’s ideas helped me develop this idea of a ‘slider scale’. One which everyone chooses how ‘professional’ or ‘social’ their pages are, when incorporating multiple factors; such as ‘job type applied for’, ‘audience’ and ‘potential repercussions’.

With this topic it is clear that I had strong opinions regarding what I personally thought was the best route to take. However, discussion with my peers enabled me to see beyond my own ideology and instead create, perhaps, a more universally acceptable theory behind a person’s choices when ‘professionalizing’ their ‘social’ realm. This topic has been the most engaging so far. An amalgamation of imperative relevance and individual preference made a lot of the blog posts very interesting reads. A combination which I hope continues throughout the modules blogging tasks!




Topic Three: Authentic professional online profiles, a modern day expectation.

In an age where online job applications lord over paper application, it is essential to have an online professional profile capable of meeting employers expectations. This is not socialized into the normal individual straight from the creation of their social media accounts and therefore each must undergo a learning curve in order to demonstrate authenticity and professionalism.

(Jobvite, 2014) suggests that 94% of employers use LinkedIn as a method for finding candidates, these statistics are similar to those of the author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day, Viveka von Rosen, who places the figure around 98% (Shin, 2013). References to the popular sites of Facebook and Twitter are made in regards to their popularity by employers in searching for candidates. A reason why LinkedIn is statistically greater is because it is seen as, ‘a work tool, not a social tool’ with clear boundaries between itself and other social media sites (Carruthers, 2012).

It is clear that individuals undergo a self-professionalization which includes that of their online identities. Because this usually doesn’t happen until employment is in the immediate future, individuals’ (including myself), need to professionalize their social media sites well after creation. Here is a link to Forbes (2014), who provide ‘6 ways to leverage social media’ in order to land a job.

The points raised Shin on the Forbes source are supported Ryerson Career Center below:

Another way of building an online professional profile is through blogging. (The Employable, 2014) suggest that blogging demonstrates an array of skills which employers are looking. Examples of which are ‘passion’ and ‘creativity’. One which isn’t stressed enough is the demonstration of an affinity with more advanced online activity. However from multiple sources it is evident that employers look at other social media sites primarily, meaning that blogging could be the ‘cherry on your cake’ as opposed to a go to starter option.

From my previous blog post, we see that sites like ‘About Me’ ties all online identities together. From the information gained from (Jobvite, 2014) it shows that employers’ have a social media preference. ‘About me’ bypasses this issue as candidates online information is all in one place whilst keeping the ‘boundaries’ suggested by Carruthers clear.  This addresses the issues that Bowes draws upon in the BBC video (Bowes, 2013). These being that an individual needs their own ‘personal brand’. Moreover a ‘summary’ of your academic prowess coupled with ‘relevant links to personal portfolio’ are readily available. Sites which combine an individual’s online identities are therefore arguably the best way to achieve an authentic online professional profile.


Bowes, P (2013) Job Hunting: How to Promote Yourself Online. Available at

Carruthers, R (2012) Available at

Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey (2014) Available at

The Employable (2014) How Blogging Can Help You Get a Job. Available at

Shin, L (2013) How to Use LinkedIn: 5 Smart Steps to Career Success. Available at

Video Source: Ryerson Career Centre Available at

Image Source: Made by Alexander Welch Available at


Topic Two: Reflective Writing


When analyzing the academic work I came to my own conclusions rapidly. It is a topic that I was familiar with and have had handy personal experience. However the extra information I read into surround the site ‘About me’ was something which I found to be a joint highlight of this specific task as I was formerly unaware that services like this were available.

The other highlight of the module was the discussion I had around cyber bullying with user ‘Zac Cohen’. After commenting on his blog post we engaged using multiple sources as points of information for each other. He posted a link to a statistics page which I spent a fair amount of time comparing to the tables I had come across myself. Using both these I was able to read the blog post on site, which in turn reinforced my ideas on hiding my online identity in the video game community. The information Zac provided meant that when i read specific blogs to do with cyber bullying in the gaming community such as I was able to incorporate his ideas on the problem. I would say that my ideas were reinforced as he tended not to criticize my work but instead probed for reasoning behind certain comments.

This topic seems that although alot of people know a little, few people know alot, and it wasnt until I did reading into total supportive and total criticism work that I was able to build my own opinions into a discussion which incorporated both. I hope that future blog posts will lead to the discussions superseding a single comment and reply as I learnt so much more from the active communication with my peers.

On a side note – the reference for the images didn’t save on my blog post. Below are the links to the images in order to give credit to the original owner.

Image One:

Image Two:

Comments on students posts:

Below is my own blog post and the conversation established with user Arthur Boulding.

Topic 2: Multiple Online Identities – A Representation of who you really are?

Image result for what is online identityShould online users be allowed to have multiple online identities? And is allowing multiple identities damaging for the online community as a whole? Your online identity consists of an array of contact with the internet. Whether this be your social media for recreational, linked in for professional or a blog/youtube site for a combination, your online identity is only what you make it.

One argument is that concealing your online identity, or having multiple online identities is a thing of the past. This is evident from the development of services such as ‘’. ‘’ is a site which ‘offers registered users a simple platform from which to link multiple online identities’ (Lopez, 2016, p73). Sites like this promote the integrity of social media users by linking all their accounts together, hence anyone who looks onto multiple profiles can see any discrepancies. However is this just a western point of view? ‘In Japan, the three most popular social networks operate under pseudonyms at the discretion of the account holder’ (Krotoski, 2012). It may be naïve to suggest that geographical location is a reason behind preference in online identity, instead perhaps that social normality affects what someone who is new to social media starts off doing.

I have personal experience with not wanting my online profiles to be linked together. When playing competitive Call of Duty for financial gain, the only bits of information available to people viewing my account was my gamer tag and the country in which I was from. This is because I did not want finding on other social media platforms by people I did not know.

It is easy for me to relate to those who don’t want all their information available onImage result for cyber bullying anonymous their multiple online identities, and goes beyond not wanting information shared among parties (A common criticism of complete online integrity). What is also obvious is the negative side which comes with having different online identities, which although is a minority, is still a problem internet users can encounter. Facebooks Zuckerberg sees having multiple identities as  a ‘lack of integrity’. The veil pseudonyms’ provide means that there is little no no accountability for cyber bullying or harassment. Because there is no legislation in a lot of countries, including the United Kingdom, which makes cyber bullying illegal, it is easy to see why the forcing of online integrity is beneficial.

Ultimately whether you agree with having multiple online identities or not comes down to the pros and cons that you, the individual, stand to gain or lose from such. It is easy to see both sides of the coin and comes down to personal preference when choosing to plant your own stake in the discussion.


Krotoski, Aleks (2012) Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? Available at [Accessed 28/10/2016]

Zimmer, M. (2010) Facebook’s Zuckerberg: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity” [online] Available at: [Accessed 27/10/2016]

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