What do you know about your current digital footprint?

For the past several weeks, the JH DIS (departmental integration specialists) and I have been developing a lesson for our learners on digital citizenship.  Inspired by a session for parents at a neighboring school lead by one of our 7th graders, we developed our first lesson to discuss knowing about your current digital footprint.  This morning (Feb. 12, 2012), Renata Rowe (@renatarowe), Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, posted Google your child, take back control, join Facebook! on the iCyberSafe.com – Living in a Connected World blog.

Our lesson follows the first bit of advice from Ms. Rowe and Common Sense Media.

One of the first things you can do is to Google your child’s name on the first day of every month.

While the advice from iCyberSafe.com is for parents, we believe that our learners should follow this advice for themselves.  After developing the initial lesson plan, we “did the lesson” ourselves to experience the lesson as participants, reflect on the lesson and make revisions.  To collect additional feedback and suggestions, we delivered our revised lesson to the available HS DIS, JH Grade Chairs, our Principal, and one of our Deans of IT.  We took their feedback and suggestions and revised our lesson again.  Last week, we delivered our lesson to 73 faculty in our division for one more level of learning, feedback and revision.  The lesson will be delivered to the rest of our learners on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Our lesson:

  • A quick whole group discussion about the first slide…What does this graphic convey to you?  Remember Mr. Adams’ What’s Your Brand? 4 R’s Gold, Growth & a Herd devotional at the beginning of the year about building your personal brand.
  • Watch 5 minutes (out of 12) of Julian Baggini: Is there a real you?  TEDxYouth@Manchester talk.  “…wise people fashion themselves.” As you grown and learn, you fashion yourself.
  • Individually reflect and write to the prompts:
    What do you want people to think when they hear your name? What do you want to be known for publicly? Describe the reputation you strive for with your family, peers, parents of peers, and others?
    While learners are writing, they will listen to Corey Smith’s song “Be the Change.”
  • Google your name, your name with your school, your online name, etc.  (For example, I searched for Jill Gough, jplgough, jgough, and my cell phone number.)
  • Individually reflect on what you found.  Write to the prompts:
    What did you find? Did you find what you hoped to find?  What surprised you? Is there anything you need help with?

We want to help our learners build a positive image; we always have.  How are we coaching and guiding our learners to build a positive image in our community and online? 

An additional resource from the post Google your child, take back control, join Facebook!

Common Sense Media at www.commonsense.org, has identified 6 steps that will give you a solid understanding of your child’s main media activities so that you can develop a strategy to manage them. By getting involved, you can help them use these tools responsibly, respectfully, and safely.

Additional great advice from Renata Rowe:

When you give your kids digital devices — mobile phones, computers, and other personal electronics — set rules around responsible, respectful usage.

I love the rules for responsible, respectful usage from common sense media, don’t you?

Rowe concludes her post with this message:

Teach your kids the basics of safe searching (Google has a safe-search setting), and give them a digital code of conduct. Don’t let them figure it all out by themselves.


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