Have you googled yourself lately? I predict you have. Just like me, I’ve done it a couple of times. Actually, I just did it now. Nothing surprising. There’s my Twitter, my Facebook, a LinkedIn account that I swore I had deleted, my work bio, etc. This, as I understand it, is my digital footprint. This is how I exist in the World Wide Web. So what does this mean?
I read somewhere a while back (I will search this source and site it later) that 20 years from now, our generation would not be eligible for election to office (if being held to today’s standards for election). When I read this, I snarkily asked myself ‘Why?’ So I quickly thought about my posts, photos & overall Facebook account history… Mmh, nothing major. I opened my account when I was 26 so… Oh wait, didn’t I have a MySpace account before that? And before that didn’t I have that Hotmail account that I used to chat with my buddies using MSN Messenger?? You know, when it was all about those cool emoticons?
Wow. I’ve been around ‘digitally’ for far longer than I thought. Should I be worried? It’s not that I made poor choices with the information I put out there, I mean, I must have, I was a kid! But I don’t remember now..! So, what does this mean?? It probably means that running for office is not in the cards. But as an educator, I agree with my friend and colleague Liz that it is part of our responsibility to teach responsible digital citizenship.
Currently at our school, we are running self-managed 1:1 iPad programs, grades 4-7, and MacBooks in high school. Our learners make all sorts of choices on a daily basis that are leaving their own digital footprint. I’m certain these choices aren’t always the best, so it’s on us who have given them these devices and expected them to self-manage their hardware, software and information.
Maybe I should ask my students to google themselves, and we can start from there?