I had some conversations with a few of the students here in school about what they do online. Most students are on Facebook and Instagram. Some students have ventured into the Twitterverse, and making and posting their own YouTube videos. Very few students I talked to have blogged or even read a blog. None of this surprises me. I live in and work in an urban school where kids have limited resources when it comes to technology. Most of the students I teach or see in the building have a smart phone of some kind, and for some this is the only thing they have since they don’t have a computer and internet at home. They use them to post pictures, or other things on in their life on the sites I mentioned. Something that has occurred to me is this question: has anyone ever told you that what you post on the internet can be there forever?
I read an article today about 10 things students should know about their digital footprint. I believe this is something we need to have our students read. I know my students could learn a lot from this article. Some of the main points I believe are important to stress from this article are:
College admissions and employers do read your online profiles and they do make decisions based upon information they find out about you online.
Keep private information private.
Build your own positive image and brand yourself in a great way.
According to Cybersmart you can manage your digital footprint by:
Keeping your personal details private. Use a nickname instead of your real name and always ask your parents before giving out your name, address or phone number online.
Not sharing your username or password with anyone.
Thinking before you post. Once posted, it can be difficult to remove.
Not posting things that you don’t want others to know about or that you wouldn’t say to their face.
Being respectful of other people’s content that you post or share. For example, a photo that your friend took is their property, not yours. You should post it online only if you have their permission.
I don’t think we teach our children these ideas as often as we should. We need to teach our children what it means to have a digital citizenship at a young age. I do know that after the conversations I had I need to teach my students this, or at least remind them. I would hate to have them post something that could potentially ruin their future.
What do you do to teach your students about their digital footprint?