Monday, May 23, 2011

Digital Footprints

After reading Kathleen Morris' post about digital footprints and LinkedIN, I thought very carefully about the digital footprints of educators.

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What are Digital Footprints?

During my first year of marriage, my front yard was the Pacific Ocean. Everyday I took a walk along the beach and loved feeling the wet sand on my feet. Even though the footprints I left would wash away, I loved looking at the path and trail I left.

Digital footprints are similar because they are the imprints made in the digital world. They are different because they are the permanent mark left in the digital world by individuals.


Why do Digital Footprints matter?

They are the permanent record of your online behaviors, which reflect your attitudes and beliefs. Once digital prints are made online, it's fossilized for the world to see. The world can pay attention now or later because your fossil does not erase -- even if you delete it.



Where do we leave Digital Footprints?

They are left anywhere there is a digital environment: online, cell phone text messages, airwaves, etc. So, regardless of professional or personal use, the digital footprint leaves the same mark -- a permanent one.

Tips that Guide my Digital Footprints
    • Would I say it in front of my child, an assembly of parents & students, and my friends -- and still feel good about what I said later in life? It's very possible that one of them may view my words one day, so asking this question is a good start.
    • Is it okay to share? I remember a young prayer group from many years ago, and hearing prayer requests that I felt should not have been shared aloud with the group. For example, "Please pray for a situation I am having with someone that I won't name, but this is what happened ... XYZ..." By the end of the prayer request, everyone  knew who was being spoken about. It made me uncomfortable and I felt less detail would have shown more integrity, while maintaining absolute faithfulness in the power of prayer. -- For me, digital footprints follow the same thought process. So, I won't share something told in confidence.
    • Did I pause before posting?  One thing I started doing recently is pace my posts out. Once I've written the final draft, I wait to post it. I am trying a minimum of 24 hours before posting, which will give me fresh eyes to edit/revise again, and it might give perspective on my post. That time of reflection is valuable to me.
    Feedback
    1. What other tips can you share to guide your digital footprints?
    2. What advice could you give someone about their digital footprints?
     Thanks Edublogs for teaching me about "Digital Footprints" through the Teacher & Student Challenges, and thanks Kathleen Morris for being a model of positive digital footprints. I have learned so much through all of you!

      2 comments:

      1. Hi Tracey,

        What great advice. I'm sure most teachers don't even know what digital footprints are so I will be pointing them to this post.

        I often find myself pausing before pressing "Enter" and deciding whether or not I should say something. I find it is always best to err on the side of caution! Like you, I like to come back to blog posts to read with fresh eyes!

        I really love this post by Chris Betcher (@betchaboy) http://chrisbetcher.com/2011/03/a-public-life/

        He suggests something I have heard a lot lately. Perhaps having no digital footprint is worse than having a negative one! Interesting thought.

        Kathleen

        PS - thanks so much for the lovely acknowledgment.

        ReplyDelete
      2. Hi Kathleen,

        I learn so much from you that the acknowledgement to you and those who do so much is super important. You see, I have two young children that are enrolled in the very school district I work for, so if I weren't already driven by wanting to do my school district right, then I for sure am driven by wanting to do my kids right.

        I've seen that post by @betchaboy -- I think I saw a conversation you had on Twitter, and then followed the rabbit trail to his post. I honestly hadn't thought about not having a digital footprint as a caution before I read your post... and then your comment here again really made me ponder all the reasons why ... A bit daunting to think about, but glad you got me thinking.

        Always a pleasure to learn from you!

        Kind regards,
        Tracy

        ReplyDelete

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