“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
What about what a man posts online? What would Gandhi say about this? What a man posts, he becomes?
So what does my digital footprint say about me, Daryl Imanishi? What are the thoughts that are contained in my current online profile and what are the thoughts and images that I want to make sure are out there on the Internet?
When investigating my own digital footprint, the search results connected me to a few photos from the past put up by my friend and my college. Depending on the way I configured my name for the search, different search results occurred, but links to my Twitter account (old and new account), LinkedIn account, blog postings, myteacherpages.com website, and a couple connections to Carl Knudsen’s blog posts emerged. (Thank you, Carl for posting my full name on your posts to help bulk up my search results.)
Doing a little alternative searching, by putting in the Networked Educator in the search window, finally I was able to find some other pictures of me in a more professional setting. Thank you, Kim Cofino for posting this photo on Flickr. This was a good professional image that I would like to have appear higher up in search results.
Since I had already completed numerous searches via Google, Diigo, Twitter, etc. using my name, I thought I might experiment with the Google image search function and see what results I might receive. I predicted that if I used the photo to the left in the search window, I should be able to “hit” the original photo found on Flickr. My prediction was wrong, however, as the results from the search are shown below with a screen capture.
As you can see, the images are of similar background, and similar composition with multiple people gathered together.
So what is the key to unlocking the potential of a digital footprint?
One important point is to reduce the fear around posting on the Internet. While I once thought that my digital footprint should be more like the footprint or lack of footprint left behind when trying to walk on a sheet of rice paper rolled out onto the floor, now I think that being purposeful with my footprints and the directions that they lead are a necessary part of my development as an educator, learner, and leader. Learning the fundamentals of digital citizenry and empowering students, staff, and the community so that we have a solid understanding of our rights and responsibilities is crucial so that we can feel comfortable regarding what and what not to post.
As always, Commoncraft does a fantastic job of simply stating what needs to be considered when looking at one’s online presence. I have included both the Japanese and English version.
When posting online, the pictures or videos that you upload, comments that you post, etc. can either be a positive or a negative influence on your digital footprint.
When posting online it is always wise to…
Here are a few other resources that could help students and adults think through how to go about forming a positive online presence by CommonSenseMedia and the International Reading Association sponsored website, ReadWriteThink.
I found an informative presentation put together by Steve Johnson on the Educator’s PLN-The personal learning network for educators webpage. This resource pertains to educators and how their digital footprint can become one of the first impressions a future employer may receive from a potential applicant. We spoke of this at our COETAIL @YIS Course 2 first discussion. This presentation also gives some interesting facts about how an employer can use a digital first impression (both positively and negatively).
Considering all of the different aspects and potential impact when posting online, it is best to think of the overall message that you would like to convey. Will my contributions add or take away value from my online presence? Daniel Pink does a fabulous job of asking two key questions that can help guide us as we look towards our future online interactions.
Two questions that can change your life by Daniel Pink
What is my sentence?
What is it that I want my current/future employer, my students, my family, and my kids to remember me by? Will my future comment, photo, video, etc. build on or take away from my sentence?
Was I better today than I was yesterday?
Is my digital footprint better today than it was yesterday, or a week ago? These are the questions that I will continue to ask myself as I strive to build, mold, and shape my online presence and to leave digital footprints headed in a positive direction.
CommonSenseMedia, Facebook, YouTube, Texting: Rules of the Road for Kids Accessed November 20, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd520wZZGDE&feature=youtu.be
Johnson, Steve, Digital Footprints-Your New First Impression, online video, accessed November 20, 2011, <http://edupln.ning.com/video/digital-footprints-your-new?commentId=4241570%3AComment%3A8853&xg_source=activity>
Pink, Daniel, Two questions that can change your life, online video, accessed November 20, 2011, http://vimeo.com/8480171
“Digital People”, Indore, Jim, accessed November 20, 2011, http://blog.jimindore.ac.in/?p=581
“Working on Laptops”, The Networked Educator by Kim Cofino
“Keys and College”, By Daryl Imanishi on Flickr, Creative Commons Licensed
Pecha Kucha: Positive Negative Patterns by Bluekdesigns on Flickr, Creative Commons Licensed