Digital footprint–by now you have probably heard this phrase many times. Your teachers and parents have probably said things like “be careful about what you post online!” But what really is your digital footprint? Does your digital footprint leave a positive or negative impression? What have you left behind on the internet?
Video is powerful. When teachers pick videos to show their classes on digital footprints they often select a video that means something to them, but does not connect with the students. If you were going to show a video to your class about having a positive digital footprint which one would you show? Write a post with hyperlinks to three videos on the topic of digital footprint that would be perfect to show your class. Here is a great place to start looking for videos.
“Google” yourself. Do an online search for you! Use search operators to help you refine your search. Look through web pages and images. Write a post about your results. What do you find? What showed up that surprised you? Did the results reveal a positive or negative footprint?
Do you use Google Chrome? Install the Ghosterly extension. Now visit five of your favorite webpages. Ghostery will tell you what companies are tracking your online activities. Write a post on what you found? What is your reaction? Will this change sites that you visit online? What type of sites had more tracking of your activity? Are you surprised?
Write a post that adds to your positive digital footprint. Write about something that is important to you, something you would like to see changed, a charity you would like to see more people support, a group you do volunteer work for, or simply someone in your life that you think is awesome and deserves a big thank-you.
Scroll through the posts on this students blog who wrote one positive post each day for 25 straight days.
Most of the time when parents and teachers talk to students about being careful online it comes across as preaching from an old adult who does not know the realities of being online as a kid. Write a post including what you would say to a younger class about keeping their online identities safe and being careful about what they post what would you say? What would be some examples you could give that would connect to a younger audience? Are you willing to share any positive or negative experiences that you had online that they could learn from?