How-To Guide: Account Settings

Every member account consists of an area where their personal information is stored. Some of this data is private and not visible or shared with other members or outside of the site. Some is only used internally, while other information is visible to the world. This guide goes through each setting describing it’s use, visibility, and what can be controlled or adjusted by the member. Suggestions as to the suitability of certain content is also provided.  The details below is split between the Profile settings and the more general Settings options in the member home area navigation bar:

The Profile area mainly contains information of a personal nature to the member.  This includes their name, email address, website info, company information, and social networks.  The general Settings area allows the member to change their password, manage email notifications, control their profile visibility, and manage who can invite them to join groups.  The description of all the Profile and Settings fields are described in detail below.   Management is designed to be simple and intuitive – simply change the required value(s) and save.

Profile Details

Profile settings include profile photo uploads and maintenance as well as general account information.  To view and manage the member profile, click on the Profile link in the member menu bar (see above).  This will by default come up in the View mode.  The currently configured profile data will be displayed and the profile menu navigation will be displayed allowing for further updating or uploading of profile data:

The general profile information is split into the following categories: Base, Organization, Location, Personal, and Social Networks.  The photo uploads can be managed directly through links in the main Profile menu bar.  To manage and update the general profile information click on the Edit link to bring up the Edit sub-menu bar.  Each of the areas are covered separately below.

Profile Photos

Two different photos can be uploaded to the member area.   The main photo, or profile photo, should be a square high resolution photo that represents the member.   This is usually a photo of the member themselves but does not have to be.   This photo, or avatar, is displayed in the small square or round avatars that accompany member pages and lists which the member is part of (members, groups, etc).  The resolution of this photo should be good however the system can take care of scaling and cropping of the image.

The cover image photo is a wide and narrow image that is displayed at the top of all member pages.   The recommended resolution is 1300 pixels wide by 225 pixels high.  It is recommended that an image of this dimension is prepared outside of the Teachers Network site and then uploaded when done.   The system will not crop or adjust this image upon uploading.

Profile Photo

To upload a new profile photo, change an existing photo, or delete a current photo click on the Change Profile Photo link in the member profile navigation bar:

From this screen you will be able to directly upload any existing photo.   Depending on what kind of device you are using you may also be able to directly take a profile photo or drag and drop a file into the upload area.  If you already have a profile photo, an additional option to Delete the photo will be presented.  To proceed simply select the photo file that you wish to use by dropping the file into the upload area, or by clicking on the SELECT YOUR FILE button to bring up the file chooser on your device.  Once selected, the file will automatically be uploaded to the site and you should see a image editing / selection screen similar to the following:

The image area should have a square selection area visible.  Adjust the corners of this square to match where you want the edges of your photo to be.  When you are happy with the area of the image you have selected for your profile image, simply click on the CROP IMAGE button and the system will trim the picture and insert it as your profile photo.

Cover Image

To upload a new profile cover image, change an existing cover image, or delete a current cover image click on the Change Cover Image link in the member profile navigation bar:

The procedure for uploading the cover image is identical to the Profile Photo upload procedure described above.   The only difference is that you will be expected to provide a photo of the proper dimensions (optimal is 1300 x 225 pixels) and the system will not do any cropping or resizing after uploading.

Base Group

Information that can be managed in the Base Group include Full Name, Forum Signature, Country, Primary Role and Date of Birth.  Please note that the account name cannot be changed once the account has been established but most other information can.

When you first enter the member profile area you should see an account summary screen similar to the following:

To change or modify these settings click on the Edit link in the Profile navigation bar.  The Base group is normally the first or default group shown.   If not, it can easily be selected in the Profile Edit sub-menu navigation bar.   You should see a screen similar to the following:

All information in this form can be changed by the member.  The visibility of each field (who has permission to see it) can be changed with the exception of the Date of Birth field.  The Date of Birth field is always kept hidden from other members and the public for privacy reasons.   If for any reason you wish the make this public, you can always do this through the member written Bio area in the Personal Group or through your blog pages.  To change the privacy settings for a given field simply click on the Change button next to the field you wish to modify.  You will be able to select between Everyone, Only Me, All Members, and My Friends.

After making all the necessary updates, click on the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen to make them permanent.  If you need to make any additional changes, you can always come back at anytime and change again.  The description for each of the fields is described below.

Full Name

This is the full name of the member and is displayed anywhere the member name is used.  Note that this is different from the account name which is usually much shorter.   The account name is used by the system to login and to identify member content and activity and cannot be changed.   The Full Name field on the other hand can be changed as desired.  While this can be anything it is strongly recommended that members use their own names, or an identifier which clearly identifies them here.

Forum Signature

If this field is filled in, it will be used as the member signature to automatically append to all forum postings.


The member country of residence.  This is currently not used for anything except for internal analysis so we better understand where members come from (helps in determining what new features are most likely going to be useful).  It can also be useful to other members when trying to determine where their online colleagues come from.  It is envisioned that one day this field may be used to filter certain types of content in an attempt to show more relevant information to each member.

Primary Role

This field indicates the primary role, as it pertains to education, of the member.  It is currently only used internally so we have a better idea of the interests and backgrounds of the members.

Date of Birth

This field is only visible to the member and Teachers Network administrators.  It is here so we have a personal question we can ask in the case of password recovery or any other admin related interventions made on the behalf of a member.   We need something, with reasonable probability, that cannot be easily guessed and which the member should readily know.  While this information can be anything, it is strongly recommended that it be set to a real date in case needed for password recovery or other critical site intervention activity (fake dates are more likely to be forgotten).

Organization Group

Fields in the Organization Group include Organization Name, Company Email and Company Website.  This group of fields is used in case you wish to make your organization or company affiliation known.   If not, they can be safely ignored.  To change or modify fields in the Organization Group click on the Edit link in the member profile area, and then click on the Organization link in the sub-menu navigation bar:

All fields are optional and visibility for each can be maintained separately.   After making any necessary changes simply click on the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen to apply the changes.   Descriptions for all fields in this group follow.

Organization Name

The name of your company or organization.

Company Email

If you want for people to know how to send email to your company address, include the company email address here.

Company Website

Your official company website.   This is usually something like

Location Group

The Location Group holds the City and State or Province information for the member.   Both of these fields are optional and can be safely ignored.  To change or modify fields in the Location Group click on the Edit link in the member profile area, and then click on the Location link in the sub-menu navigation bar:

Visibility for each field can be maintained independently.  After making any necessary changes simply click on the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen to apply the changes.   Descriptions for both fields in this group follow.


The name of the city the member resides in.

State of Province

The name of the state or province the member resides in.

Personal Group

The Personal Group contains information that can personally identify the member.  Be careful what you disclose here and to whom (visibility settings) as some of this information can be used to uniquely identify the member.  If you want the world (or select groups) to know more about you then you need to include the information here and make sure the visibility settings are appropriate for your situation.  People who want to advertise resumes for job searches or for colleagues to work with may want to ake this information known to the world.  Students on the other hand who want to work in private should either not fill in this section, or make sure that only their friends can see the information provided.

To change or modify fields in the Personal Group click on the Edit link in the member profile area, and then click on the Personal link in the sub-menu navigation bar:

All fields here are optional and their visibility can be maintained independently.  After making any necessary changes simply click on the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen to apply the changes.  Descriptions for all fields in this group follow.


Describe what you want others to know about you here.  Unlike other fields you can write whatever you like here and the length can extend several lines.  This is a good place to include information that is not already provided for in other profile fields.   An example would be other email addresses or social networks ID’s you are a member of.

Personal Email

Your personal email address.

Member Home Page

The member home area can be converted into a member home page by setting this field.  The member home page is linked here to a blog page maintained by the member and specified here.   For more information on how to setup a member home page and the value to put here please see the How-To Guide Setting Up A Member Home Page.

Personal Website

If you have a personal website, enter the URL or web address here.  For example  If you don’t have a personal website and want to use your member home page, enter the following URL:<account-name> where <account-name> is replaced by your login name.

Full Status Display

This is an internal field which controls how the member block is displayed for each member.  It is automatically set and unset through the Hide Status and Full Status links in the member block and can safely be ignored.

Social Networks Group

The Social Networks group contains optional information about your accounts on different social network sites.  The included networks are currently limited to WhatsApp and Facebook but this will be extended soon.  If you want people to be able to communicate with you on other networks be sure to include the information here and set the visibility appropriately.

To change or modify fields in the Social Networks Group click on the Edit link in the member profile area, and then click on the Social Networks link in the sub-menu navigation bar:

All fields here are optional and their visibility can be maintained independently.  After making any necessary changes simply click on the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen to apply the changes.  Descriptions for all fields in this group follow.


Your WhatsApp id.   This is normally a telephone number.


Your Facebook ID or URL (web address) of your Facebook home page.

General Account Settings

The general account settings area are where members can manage their account email address, change their password, manage notification preferences, manage who can see individual profile fields, and who can invite the member to groups.  To view and manage the member settings, click on the Settings link in the main member navigation bar.  This will bring up the General Setting page and the settings navigation bar:

General Settings

This is the default page that usually comes up when entering the Settings configuration above.   If not, simply click on the General link.   Your registered email address and password are private and not shared with anyone.   These settings cannot be seen by others.  After making any necessary changes simply click on the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen to apply the changes.

Account Email

This is your registered email account.  This must be filled in.   It is used for password recovery, any administrator communication, and also for optional notification messages (see the Email Settings group below for more information on this).  This field is not visible to others.

Change Password

If you want to change your account password enter it the same way in both password fields.   When you click on SAVE CHANGES the system will compare the two to make sure they are the same.  If everything is OK  the new password will be applied to your account.  This information is not visible to others.

Email Settings

This configuration area is used by members to manage their email notifications.  Notifications are small messages sent by email to members when things happen on the system.  They are broken down into the following general categories: Activity, Messages, Friends, and Groups:

For each of the events that can occur with a member account, a corresponding email notification can be sent.   By default all notification messages are enabled.  For members who are not very active and only occasionally visit the site this is the recommended setting.  This way members do not have to actually visit the site just to find out if there has been any activity related to their account.

For more active members, the frequent notification message may be a bit overwhelming.  In this case only the types of notifications that are most important to the member can be selected.  To enable a given notification message select the Yes button.   To disable a given notification message simply select No.  After you have made all your desired changes, click on the SAVE CHANGES button to apply them to the system.

Profile Visibility

This area is used by members to control who may see their profile details.   Each field is managed separately allowing very fine control over exactly what is and what is not shared and with whom:

All profile fields with the exception of Full Name and Date of Birth can have their visibility set by the member.  The Full Name field is always visible to everyone while the Date of Birth field is invisible to everyone except the member and the Teachers Network administrator.

The visibility of each of these fields can also be modified in the Profile editing area next to each of the fields.  The only difference in modifying the fields here is that all visibility settings are grouped together making it easier to manage all visibility settings in a single place.

Group Invites

This is a simple single setting used to restrict who can invite you to join groups.  Normally (by default) this field is not set allowing anyone to be able to invite you to join groups:

To limit the ability to only friends being able to invite you to groups, select the I want to restrict Group invites to my friends only checkbox and then click on the SAVE button.   If you change your mind later you can always come back, deselect the checkbox and save again.

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