Digital Footprints

Being a complete novice to the field of blogging I decided to search within edublogs to see what information I could locate pertaining to Digital Footprints.  I was pleased to locate a blog posted by Mrs Kathleen Morris, a year 4 teacher at Leopold Primary School in Victoria.  Kathleen has provided insight and resources for Teaching Children about Digital Footprints, and also cites the importance of teachers having positive Digital Footprints.

Have you ever thought about your digital reputation?  This is the image you create through your online activities, actions and communications.  The pictures and videos you post, what you say and how you say them and the text you type all paint a picture of who you are.  This is your Digital Footprint.  Teachers must ensure their digital footprint is a positive and ethical representation of themselves. As a teacher it is important to have a positive online presence as opposed to the complete absence of one.   The important question is, How to develop that within the context of your professional life?

Basic guidelines for Teachers:

  • Comment critically on social media sites discussing issues of importance to you
  • Remember the people you ‘follow’ form part of your Digital Footprint
  • Repsect Intellectual Property
  • Ensure your privacy settings are activated

Education and Digital Footprints

Documents such as Queensland’s Essential Learnings (Queensland Studies Authority, 2013) state that students should be able to follow guidelines to apply safe practices at the Year 3 juncture; this concept is further developed over the following years, when by Year 7 students are expected to identify risks and justify and apply safe practices.  Therefore educating students about the impact and consequences of their digital footprint is an important first lesson when providing them access to the vast world of internet opportunities.  The Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies (2013) further endorses the need for students to effectively and responsibly select and manipulate appropriate technologies when designing and creating products, services, environments and digital solutions.  The Technologies curriculum is designed to ensure students are explicitly taught how to manage projects, including risk assessments and management.  Understanding the protection of data, intellectual property and individual privacy in the school environment assists students to become ethical digital citizens.

Resources:

Common Sense Media is a free to join site offering a range of Digital Literacy and Citizenship lessons for students in Years K-12.

Clips to introduce students to the concept of Digital Footprints:

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