Level: Middle school, High school, College
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Tweeting, posting, tagging, sharing, and pinning are all social media related terms that are regularly used by the younger generation of today. It’s pretty amazing to think that even just 10 years ago, they weren’t household terms. The Internet allows us to create, share, and spread information and ideas with anyone in the world in just a matter of seconds. But do students ever think about what might happen to that information in one year, five years, ten years, or more from now? Every piece of information that is placed on the Internet becomes part of their digital footprint.
A digital footprint is a trail of online information that is tied back to a specific person. It’s important for students to be mindful of the items they post online as their digital footprint paints a picture of who they are. As educators, we want our students to shine and be their best selves now and also in the years to come. So it’s important to promote proper digital etiquette, or “netiquette.”
Use this Digital Footprints video in your classroom to provide:
- An introduction to digital footprints
- An explanation of the technology that prevents online information from being deleted
- Reasons as to why it’s important to think twice before posting
Here are some discussion questions to pose to students, as well as extension activities, related to digital footprints:
- What do you find when you search for yourself on Google or another search engine?
- Name a few items you hope people would find out about you, either now or in the future, when they search for your name on the Internet.
- How can you prevent unwanted, negative items to appear when people search for your name on the Internet?
- What types of information do you believe digital devices track and store about you?
- Conduct a Google search for your favorite celebrity or historical figure. What items did you find about them that were positive? What items did you find about them that were negative?
- Besides job hunting, when do you think it would be beneficial to have positive, impressive information about yourself on the Internet?
- How can you add positive information about yourself onto Google or other search engines?
Additional videos are linked here. Looking to learn more? Check out our EasyBib blog which regularly showcases articles and resources to use when teaching topics related to digital citizenship. We also have a variety of resources available that relate to citations, plagiarism, MLA format, APA format, and other information literacy skills.