Why Teachers Must Have a Digital Footprint

It’s so funny. Looking for other blog posts about how teachers need a digital footprint uncovers almost nothing. But, it’s true– It is no longer an option. Teachers must have a digital footprint. Why? Here are a few reasons:

1. To Get a Job

Principals and Heads of Schools want more than a resume these days. They want to see your online activity. Blogging, Facebook and whatever else you have. They will find it and hopefully you will be proud to show off way more than those basic tools. How are you documenting your work with students online? How are you sharing your ideas and communicating with others?

2. Be a Lifelong Learner and Help Others to do the Same

Contributing to blogs and online learning communities helps you become a reflective practitioner. It also helps the people that are reading and responding to you grow as educators. Creating information that is shared online is a powerful way to create a learning community.

3. Connect with Students

Especially as students reach middle and high school, I think it important to share real world mistakes and how to move past them and learn from the mistakes we make. Also, it is good for your students to see the work you have done and connect with you in a positive way.

4. Serve as a Model to Students (and parents)

During open house this year, I told parents that we were creating digital portfolios for each student to follow them through their tine at SIS. I told them how I thought it was important for their children to begin developing their digital footprint earlier than later. They can have opportunities to make mistakes early and have time for those mistakes to go away. Yet, they still have knowledge and understanding of what can happen online.

5. Control the information people find about you

If you flood the internet with purposeful and helpful information created and maintained by you, you are likely to block out negative press or at least counter-balance it. Creating a positive digital footprint will keep you balanced on the good side of employers and family members. Remember, every negative piece of information on the internet about you counter-balances around five positives.

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