Digital Footprint - An impact on privacy, security and reputation

     As I begin my journey into my course I must also take my first steps into using social media and thus expanding my social footprint.  I have often thought of my digital footprint and thus check to see what comes up when I search my name.  I also search my children's names and found that my nine year old was linked to nine results and my four year old was linked to one result.  This was a little surprising as neither is active on the internet. 
      I was curious to find out more on digital footprints and found out that our footprints can be created through active and passive acts.  Active acts are when an individual willingly shares information and thus creating a footprint online.  Our footprint is also created through passive acts such as surfing the net.  Profile companies link and collect data on individuals to determine likes and dislikes.  The company then analyses the date and is able to determine habits, preferences, intentions and possible future behaviour of an individual.  It is important for all individuals to be aware of this in order to create positive footprints by discriminating what information is shared.
     A footprint is something we leave behind, it is like our legacy.  As teachers, we need to ensure that we leave behind a legacy that has a positive impact on students.  Our legacy should inspire, inform and teach.  Information that can do this should be shared by teachers. 
     The impact of sharing information:
  • loss of privacy
  • loss of trust others use our information inappropriately
  • loss of reputation if information is negative or incorrect
As teachers we must model and guide students to develop a positive footprint.


What is your legacy?


  1. It is certainly eye opening when we find ourselves or our family members on the internet. As much as I advocate online footprints, I am also very conscious of my children's activity and footprint online. This includes their online activity at school. What are your thoughts on this? How much should teachers post (of student work, student activity)? Is there a risk that teachers can use this medium to exploit children and their work (posting without consent, taking ownership of student work on teachers blog...). What are your thoughts?

  2. I like that you referenced the idea of the corporate digital footprint. I find it a little scary when what I search on google ends up in my facebook feed, or turns up when I go to amazon to try to buy something. It certainly puts into perspective how little actual 'privacy' one has anymore when they are digitally active.

    On the other hand, as you mentioned, we should be trying to create a positive digital footprint so that we can model what is appropriate for our students, as they will be digital leaders in the not too near future! Great post =)

  3. I was reading a few articles on line about social networks and how employers are using them. The one stat that was repeated was that 1 out of every 10 people between 16 and 34 are not hired because of their digital footprint. Is this a fair hiring processes?

  4. Connecting what you've researched with your personal life, including your children as examples, sends a really powerful message. It's clear you've thought about this topic. Do you think the idea if creating a positive digital footprint is something that should explored or reviewed each September prior to students having access to the digital sphere?

    1. I think the review should be ongoing and should be discussed throughout the year. Even a quick getting started activity where a post or a picture can be shown and the students can comment on how these might be viewed by others online.

  5. Hmm...I commented on this a couple days ago. I guess I didn't publish it properly.
    Anyway, I like that you touched on profile companies. I think I often forget about this aspect and it's really important to remember this. A good reminder.
    Zoe, I think it's always a risk that our children can be exploited, but I also think it's not fair to bubble wrap them so that they are sheltered from experiencing the joys that the digital world offers. I fear all the time that something online could put my son's safety at risk. However, I also think that teachers have a responsibility to ensure they are not putting their students at a great risk and that they are respecting parents wishes. I like to hope that I will be able to trust each of my son's teacher's to do this as time goes forward.

    1. At this time all of my sons results are "joys." They are things that have made him and his parents proud. However, as time goes on I feel that I as a parent also need to discuss the importance of a positive digital image. I know that as teachers we are giving tools to the children and should discuss positive prints but is it only up to teachers to discuss this?