King’s College London: Digital Professionalism

Steven Hedges: #efactor2013 lunch done, back for digital professionalism. Bring it on 🙂

Bernadette John

“Learners must remember that informal social networking platforms are public and searchable.”

Digital Professionalism – The competence or skill expected of a professional when engaged in social and digital communication – an e-Learning module at King’s College London

Leonie: Very interesting talk on digital professionalism from @Bea_John at #efactor2013 More at

Bernadette spoke with energy and passion to ensure that learners value the ways in which they can safeguard their reputations as they enter the job market.  With Prism in the news, delegates had a lively awareness of how global internet platforms accumulate and can exploit personal information.

Rachel Chavez: looking forward to hearing about King’s College’s online training programme on digital professionalism #efactor2013
The use of social media has become ubiquitous, yet students must understand that the informal nature of social media makes it easy to fall foul of defamation laws and can blur the lines between professional and social lives.

The challenges posed by the confusion regarding the extent to which information is private, and the ease with which information can be duplicated and broadcast, must be clearly understood. From recent evidence in the press, it is clear that many students are creating digital profiles with the potentially for negative impact on their long term careers – making it difficult for them to gain professional registration, access to further education, employment and professional indemnity insurance, as well as sometimes bringing professional and academic institutions into disrepute.

Clinical students must guard patient confidentiality – guidelines and expectations are very different in the UK than in the USA. It has been reported that there are up to five breaches of NHS patient confidentiality a week on Facebook alone (BBW 2011).

“the best app for social media would be one that locks you out if you’ve had a drink”

At the School of Medicine, they addressed this issue by developing online training on Digital Professionalism – a compulsory annual sign up for all medical students in 2012/13, to be rolled out across the entire college for 2013/14. Representatives from each school will contribute to the content to ensure that appropriate context is provided to each version of the scenario-based teaching and the content is to be re-worked annually in order to ensure that the course evolves at the pace of the media.


Presenter Bio

Bernadette John | | Digital Professionalism and Social Media Lead

Bernadette John is the Digital Professionalism and Social Media Lead at King’s College University. With 24 years in various public sector roles from Midwife to Training Development Manager for a primary care trust and Year Lead at a medial school. She initiated the teaching of Digital Professionalism at King’s College London and was the driver for the creation, evolution and adoption across the university of KINSHIP, King’s internal social network.

She is an accomplished blogger and contributes on issues around social media at The Huffington Post and The Guardian.


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  1. Pingback: E-Factor, Jisc RSC London

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