Documentation:Digital Tattoo Case Studies Project/Education/Facilitator's Guide

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Facilitator's Guide


This guide is intended to assist workshop leaders in facilitating sessions in which the Case Studies for Student Teachers developed by the Digital Tattoo Project are utilized. The case studies used in these sessions were created as a way of encouraging teacher candidates to consider their developing professional identities as they make decisions related to their use of digital tools, including social media. Each case study includes a scenario related to a teacher candidate’s use of digital technology, a series of discussion questions, and resources to support these discussions. It is important to note that these case studies are not meant to provide concrete answers; rather, they are meant to get teacher candidates thinking about how they make decisions related to their digital identities, in the hopes that they will become more confident using digital technologies in a way that supports their identity as a new professional.

Each of the case studies was developed based on research and themes relating to real teachers and teacher candidates who have dealt with concerns related to their digital identities and their professional expectations and goals. The scenarios are all accompanied by a series of discussion questions that have been crafted to generate thoughtful discussion related to the case study, as well as resources that teacher candidates can use in answering these questions. It was not our intention to write scenarios or discussion questions to which there are "right" answers; rather, we hope that the case studies present teacher candidates with an idea of the complicated nature of their digital identities and the professional expectations of teachers in this area. It is our hope that, by giving thoughtful consideration to these issues prior to beginning their work as certified teachers, teacher candidates will be better prepared to make informed decisions in the future.

All of the case studies, discussion questions, and resources are available on our Case Studies for Student Teachers page.

Learning Objectives

Our goal in developing these case studies and leading these workshops is to provide teacher candidates with an opportunity to:

  • build their confidence for decision-making about their digital identities and online participation.
  • practice using guidelines and resources to support decision-making.
  • reflect on and discuss the multiple perspectives at play in each scenario and the implications for themselves as emerging professionals.


The target audience for these case studies are teacher candidates preparing for their professional roles as educators in the K-12 school system; however, the case studies can be easily adapted for use with certified teachers and professionals in other fields where public scrutiny can impact perceptions and standards of professionalism. These related professional fields can include, but are not limited to law, healthcare, and politics. It should also be noted that the resources selected to accompany each case study (e.g. school district social media policies) were chosen for teacher candidates in British Columbia. Facilitators may wish to select policies and other resources more suited to their location and context when leading their sessions.


When preparing to lead your session(s), plan to have the following materials with you:

  • Wiki Embed Page Small.JPG
    Facilitator’s Guide
  • You may want to use our pre-post survey questions with your own institution's survey tool.
  • Case Studies
  • Be prepared to share the links to the case studies with participants. Alternatively, you can embed the case study page on another online platform using the embed link under "Tools" on the left hand side of the case study page, as demonstrated by the image on the right.
  • You can use as many or as few of the six prepared case studies as you think would work best in your session. When conducting these workshops at UBC, the decision was made to have all participants in a session read and discuss the same case study.
  • Internet enabled devices (e.g. laptop, tablet, smart phone)
  • A minimum of one device per discussion group will be necessary. Participants will need to be able to access the case studies and the accompanying resources.
  • Depending on the size of the discussion groups, you may want to increase the number of devices available to participants. In facilitating these workshops, we have found that having as many devices as possible can increase efficiency.
  • You may wish to send a message to participants prior to the workshop, requesting that they bring devices with them.
  • Computer, projector, and presentation slides
  • If you plan to open your session with a short presentation to set the context prior to beginning the case study work, you will need a computer and projector, as well as your presentation.
  • You can adapt the Digital Tattoo: Think Before You Ink presentation slides previously used in these sessions, or create your own slideshow.

In addition to the above materials, you will need to ensure that you have selected an appropriate space for your workshop. This means having enough room for all participants, and choosing a space conducive to both large and small group discussions.

Workshop Structure

The following workshop structure was developed by the Digital Tattoo Project for use in their sessions. You can adapt the structure and the timing detailed below to better suit the length of your workshop.

Time Content
Introduction Approximately 20 minutes Before getting into the case studies, introduce the intersection of digital identities and teacher professionalism to participants. The Digital Tattoo: Think Before You Ink presentation slides will provide some examples of ways to introduce the topic with participants. In this presentation, there is an exploration into the terms “digital tattoo” and “digital identity,” and teacher candidates begin thinking about their own uses of social media and digital technology.
Case Study Reading and Discussion Approximately 30 minutes Steps:

1. Ask teacher candidates to divide themselves into groups to work on the case study. The Digital Tattoo Project determined that groups of 3-4 teacher candidates was ideal during our workshops, but you may decide that a different group size would work best for your session.

2. Provide teacher candidates with the link for the case study homepage and ask them to open the case study they will be reading and discussing. In our sessions, all groups read the same case study, but you may prefer to have each group work on a different case study.

3. Once students have been connected with the case study, have them spend the first few minutes reading the case study by themselves. After this, their group can spend about five minutes discussing their initial reactions to the scenario. You may even wish to bring the large group back together to discuss initial reactions before having the groups move on to their discussion questions.

4. At this point, students should move on to the discussion questions provided in the case study. Ensure that students understand that the resources accompanying each question are intended to assist them in answering the questions, but that they can choose how much time they spend with the resources. If your workshop will be shorter in length, you may wish to have groups focus on only one or two of the discussion questions, as opposed to all four questions.

Debrief Approximately 10 minutes Once participants have concluded their discussion in smaller groups, reconvene the large group. This is a time for students to share some of their discussion points with the rest of the room. As demonstrated in the Think Before You Ink slides, our debrief questions were:
  • What were the big talking points in your group?
  • What could the teacher have done to better prepare for this situation - keeping in mind that no one plans to be in this situation?
  • What did you do as a group in your discussion that might help you with your decision-making process in future?

Alternatively, you could go through the discussion questions provided in the case study as a large group.

Once you have concluded your debriefing discussion, inform students about the Additional Resources page on our Wiki. This page has a range of resources, including school district social media and technology policies, advice for teachers, and lesson plans for teaching K-12 students about this topic. Teacher candidates will likely leave this session with lots of questions about ways to merge their professional and digital identities and these resources can help them begin to answer those questions.

Workshop Assessment

If you are interested in assessing your workshop based on changes in participants' understanding of their digital identities and confidence making informed decisions about their digital identities, you may wish to use or adapt the surveys provided below. In the Digital Tattoo: Think Before You Ink presentations, these surveys were provided at the beginning and end of each workshop using an electronic survey tool and helped us to understand the impact that the presentation and case studies had on teacher candidates' self-efficacy in regards to their digital identities.

Share Your Experience

One of the goals of this project was to create open resources that could be adapted and used by multiple audiences at UBC and beyond. If you decide to use the Case Studies for Student Teachers with teacher candidates or other audiences in your organization, The Digital Tattoo Project would love to hear about your experience in order to understand ways in which we can grow and improve this project and our resources in the future. If you would like to share your feedback and comments, please do so here.

All of the case studies and resources created by the Digital Tattoo Project have been published with a Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. To learn more about the licensing of our case studies, please see the "Sharing Permissions" section below.

Sharing Permissions

Some rights reserved
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document according to the terms in Creative Commons License, Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. The full text of this license may be found here: CC by-sa 4.0

When re-using this resource, please attribute as follows: developed by the University of British Columbia: Digital Tattoo – Case Studies Project Team.