In this fast running tech savvy world, it’s high time that we start managing our digital footprint and this is a topic of great interest to me since even I have started working on it by making it a point to check the photos I am tagged in and the comments which I am posting. Our behavior on social networking sites gives the other person a picture of the real us! As an educator, we can post or write about our interests and what is it that we would like our students to imbibe. Our student‘s work can also be displayed on our profile to make it apparent that what exactly are we teaching and how much the child is grasping.
As job recruiting moves online, so does job screening. In fact, managing our e-reputation or professional image online, can be beneficial. It is a fact that just because we aren’t searching for a job means we can be careless with our online professionalism. Our reputation transcends our personal and online interactions. For example, if I am sharing a name with that of a criminal, it is obvious that I don’t want potential employers to confuse the two of us. So it is better to create a profile which is individually only ours and hence it is a good way to eliminate confusion.
Research have shown that 90% of recruiters hiring managers have visited a potential candidates profile on a social network as part of the screening process and a whopping 69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on content found in his/her social networking profiles.
Hence I would conclude that having a profile that is unique and not shared by any other person and if our profile would depict what we actually are and even our likes and dislikes, it will definitely be beneficial for us.
As children enter their teenage years they begin participating more and more in online environments. As educators, it is our duty to help children engage effectively in online environments and this can be done by helping students in managing their digital footprint and that too in a positive way.
Well, the question that whether or not teenagers use their real names online arises in our mind very often but another question which pops up in my mind is “if we don’t take ownership of our digital identity then who will?”
Teaching students the lessons of responsibility and accountability early on can result in a future payoff of giving them a name they can proudly stand behind. If we teach a student to automatically think about what their online behavior and words say about what they represent and remind them that their words leave a digital footprint, how might this change how they interact? It can be then very powerful for students to begin developing their identity at this stage of their life and extremely impactful if educators along with parents’ guide and support children in doing this.
Branding our identities has become more and more important in the digital age. We can teach students to celebrate themselves and their beliefs so that this digital footprint represents a picture of someone they are proud to be and for this purpose, as educators, we can assign a no. of fun and engaging activities that students can do, or away from, school depending on what sites are blocked in their particular schools. Students using Facebook and twitter can generate Status clouds that recap what their message has been over a period of time. In their profiles they should also add their interests and passions to actually display a real picture of them.
Hence, digital footprint can be favorable and unfavorable for us, depending upon how we make it.