Reading about my own digital footprint was interesting. I have Googled myself previously and I do take it quite seriously. I never want to be in the situation where my students or a potential employer looks me up makes a judgement based upon a picture or a quote. Luckily for me there seems to be only one person with my name and she is a nurse in Alabama. William M. Ferriter writes about this in Positive Digital Footprints in Educational Leadership. He makes 2 main suggestions for educators. The first suggestion he give is to Take a Tiered Approach – in other words, giving more instruction to students who might need it. His other suggestion is to help students build a positive digital footprint. and teach students very clearly about their digital footprint, which is a good idea. A point he brought up which I had never thought about is that students who might run into problems online most likely would also run into problems offline. Will Richardson’s suggestion to “Teach them how digital footprints can quickly connect them to the individuals, ideas, and opportunities that they care most about”, rang a bell for me and I found it interesting to note.
I feel that if you are an international school teacher and you have a positive digital footprint it can be very helpful. Personally I work hard and try to upload examples of my work (including my classroom websites, videos I’ve made on Vimeo, and flipcharts I’ve made for my Interactive Whiteboard so that potential employers can get a better idea of who I am. Moving countries is no easy feat and its made harder when you might think you’ve connected with a potential employer, then to arrive at the school and find out they aren’t at all what they represented during your interview process. For example, lets say I was interviewing with a school that did not value 21st Century Educator skills – perhaps if they saw how serious I was about integrating technology into the classroom they would not offer me the job as we wouldn’t match well.