Monday, September 3, 2012

(13) Week 5: Digital Security #2

An introductory note about the change of topic for this week:

The intended topic for Week 5 was Cloud storage. However, with the influx of SENS staff onto Twitter, and many people posing great questions about the issues involved, I have extended the Digital Security topic for a week to allow us to explore the issues involved in being safe and responsible online.

We will discuss online storage later in the program. However, most people in the school are using shared network drives and Dropbox already, and sensibly using Dropbox for only non-sensitive documents rather than research data or student results.

(If you are not using Dropbox, and need to access meeting documents on an iPad, or provide access to documents to people outside Deakin, you can install Dropbox from the Deakin Software catalogue in your Start menu. You will then need to install the app on your mobile devices. See me or Jacquie Tran for help.)

Week 4 revision
After completing Week 4, here is a newly published Internet Security Checklist you may wish to do! It's brilliant - and quite a long list!

Week 5: Digital Security part 2: Using social media skillfully, safely and responsibly

The increase in online health resources and communities

In a recent study of US patients, 61% of adults sought health information on the internet and of those, 60% report the information they found online affected their decision about how to treat a condition (Pew Report on the Social Life of Information, 2009).

With the rise of social media tools,  many health practitioners, educators and researchers are using the affordances of the internet to develop networks of people with shared interests, and foster real time and long term engagement. For example, this video documents Dieticians-Online - 61 dieticians in the US using Social Media. 

There are powerful opportunities for health researchers and educators to:
- engage individuals and communities online to foster community, sharing, trust and information exchange.
- provide accurate, timely advice and information to dispel myths and confusion
- support behavior change at the individual and population level (e.g. the tweet what you eat tool)
- advocate for changes in policy, infrastructure or funding (see this video by the University of Berkeley School of Public Health on the principles of using Social Media)
- develop our graduates' capabilities to do all of the above, and
- other opportunities you may think of.

Responsible and effective use of social media and online communication

Health agencies and educational institutions are beginning to develop guidelines to guide staff in the responsible and effective use of social media and online communications.


Step 1: Firstly, read the Deakin Social Media Guidelines. These were developed by Marketing.
(Interestingly, to tweet officially on behalf of the University, it appears that there is the requirement you undergo Social Media Certification training. Those of you who are in this role may wish to contact marketing to discuss this.)

Step 2: Discuss the guidelines with one or two of your colleagues. Do they make sense? Do you agree? Is anything missing? Do we need them? (Or does "Be respectful and honest" cover it?!)

Step 3: Together post your response in the Comments field below.  

(C'mon everyone - we can ALL do it! This is the absolute minimum step to earn this week's badge!).


Step 1: Watch this video below.

This video has some useful ideas and tips for responsible and effective use of social media. While it's aimed at doctors, many of the tips are relevant for us.

Step 2: Read this article:

An ethical framework for the Use of Social Media by Mental Health Practitioners


Step 3: Brainstorm with a colleague or member of your course team about how we can support students to develop the skills they will need as graduates to responsibly and ethically use social media.

Step 4: Email your ideas to me

LEVEL UP (extra challenge): Post your ideas in this Google doc. Google docs allow online collaborative editing. You will need a Google account.

WELL DONE! You have now earned your WEEK 5 Badge

(the title of which makes no sense at all!)


  1. Interested to know other's thoughts regarding Task 1, Step 1 on the Deakin Social Media Guide where people who "post on behalf of an official University Division, Unit or Faculty" (quote taken from page 5 of the Social Media Guide) need to undertake the the Social Media Certification Program. I'm wondering if this requirement to undertake the Program is only when your activity is directly representing the university/Faculty/School as opposed to tweeting/blogging as a 'person from Deakin University'?

    A relevant example is giving media interviews which we are free to do in any area of our expertise and in this case we are an individual from Deakin University, rather than representing Deakin University's views.


  2. Possibly the requirement to undertake certification is published ahead of certification development, at least according to Marketing's Social media page:
    Page 6 of the guide asks that we identify our association, and make clear that our views are our own, before separately stating that those 'representing' the Deakin brand must have completed the certification.
    I read it as: my account, my content.
    Proviso of my tweets, my views, not that of my organisation is now freshly amended in my twitter bio line.

    1. Thanks for pointing this out Kris. Very useful to consider.

  3. Interesting discussion about the Deakin Rules. Social media can also be seen as me connecting with friends (only my friends can see my posts). So if it is something I would not tell my friends in a cafe, I should not post it on facebook.I am more than happy to tell my friends what I think about a full colour business card "memo" to staff how to e-mail, or about a nice new system everyone needs to learn, spend a 2 day workshop on and....will disappear after 2 years. Should I not do this? I am honest, transparent and factual. If I can not be critical about Deakin because Deakin does not like it, well does that not sound like censorship. (of course I never say something like that (see above) about Deakin, let me be very clear about this).

    1. Hi Gie, yes it's complicated isn't it! I guess for us and our students, a key skill is to both enjoy the freedom provided by social media to communicate to anyone and to take responsibility for how and what we say. Some sensitive issues may be better dealt through other channels.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts Kris and prompted me to put a disclaimer on my blog seeing as I present my affiliation as through Deakin rather than as a general member of the public "The analysis and commentary on this site are my own and are presented in my professional capacity as a nutrition academic and dietitian at Deakin University and do not necessarily reflect the views of Deakin University itself."

    Gie: what happens on FB stays on FB!

  5. Hi folks, Sorry am in catch up mode. How useful are the social media guidelines if no one knows about them? Why are these things so hidden away, unnecessarily lengthy (7pages???) and not practical? (sorry have kept this short as yet again having trouble posting!!)

  6. Talking about digital security... I found this great page from our own ITSD department that lists some of the more valuable services they offer, including a "Data Restore" service. Not only can they give you your lost file back, but they can restore versions of documents saved before 10AM, 1PM, 4PM and 8PM.

    Very clever!


    1. Thanks for highlighting this feature we can use Dan. And the great thing is we can do it ourselves!

  7. Yes good point Lynn. We can perhaps develop a shorter list and consult with others in the University...

  8. I agree Lynn, it is quite lengthy, particularly when most of the points seem to be based on common sense. Although I understand that even if they are common sense, inappropriate or unsuitable postings may still occur occasionally, even if by accident. The 'Dos and Dont's' page seems to summarise the key points well; perhaps this could be made more 'visible' or more easily accessible? As Lynn said, it seems to be rather hidden!

  9. I'm also having trouble posting Lynn ... several posts appear then disappear next time I log in? Anyway... it is interesting that given the pace of development of social media, Universities and no doubt other organisations always seem to be playing 'catch up' - for example until recently ethics committees really struggled with allowing us to use social media for recruitment/intervention in research - though this is changing slowly - these days Facebook is being used by innovative researchers such as the Cancer Council to recruit thousands of participants - particularly young people, many of whom 'live' much of their lives on there. Social media guidelines also seem inevitably to arise late and are at times so vague in nature (don't offend anyone?!) that their value might be questionned...