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From Fear to Empowerment

02 Nov

I continue to be intrigued with how the digital identity is formed. I began this class really understanding very little about my digital footprint and in all honesty not caring much. As the journey continued I felt fear. As with most fear it was fueled by the unknown. I was growing more and more concerned with what was available online that may reflect negatively on me. I have had a shift happen over the last week or so moving from fear to empowerment. I now recognize that I need to manage my digital footprint and increase the positive aspects so that as I pursue a career as an administrator I have a strong positive online presence.

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The article Teachers, Take Care Of Your Digital Footprint suggests that it is easy to manage my digital footprint… So how does one do that?

  • Google yourself so that you know what is out there and use variations on your name.
  • Brand yourself by using the same name over multiple platforms and try to make it unique if your name is fairly common.
  • Get a space of your own to create the positive digital footprint you want. This may be a Twitter or a blog account.
  • Stay on top of things by signing up for google alerts (I am not sure how to do this or how effective it would be).

This week I was thinking about all of the discussions at school about Facebook and the items some students were posting. I recognize the urgency to teach students how to manage their footprint responsibly. Just look at the impact it had on the young man in this video.

I wholeheartedly agree with my classmate Amy Scuka in her blog post Viewing Critically, Posting Thoughtfully that we need to model “positive digital footprints for students” and show “them the good that can come from social media”. She included picture of a poster to remind us to think before we post and it made me think of this video “5 Ways to Make a Positive Digital Footprint” that could be used for middle years. It was a quick reminder about creating a positive digital footprint. It is similar to the philosophy that Addictions counsellor Rand Teed asks students when they are in a position to make a choice on how they respond to something.  Is what you are thinking true, helpful, inspiring, necessary and kind? It also applies to how we respond online in a more critical way because once we post it, it is seem by hundreds of people instantaneously.

This is another video that was created by High School educators that explored how to create and manage a positive digital footprint. It is a great resource to share with senior elementary and high school students. I forwarded it on to the staff in my school to share with their students. It made me rethink (again) what I have posted online and what others have posted. In this same video Dann Hurlbert encourages us to take control of our footprint so that when people do a search for you online it shows the positive rather than negative and it “increases your marketability and reveals a responsible and respectful personal life”.

 

“If you aren’t controlling who you are online, some else is or will.” Steven W. Anderson

 

How do you manage your digital footprint?

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Posted by on November 2, 2015 in EC&I832

 

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