With the affordability and accessibility of mobile devices, teens can be “connected” most of their waking hours — and it seems my students are! However, a lot of them do not understand the imprint they are creating with the pictures and messages they post to social networking sites. Read on for four activities to teach your students about their digital footprint.
The concept of the digital footprint was new to my students, so I took two days discussing what it is. I also discussed how you can positively and negatively influence your digital footprint. The Web sites below were very helpful as I planned what I wanted to cover with my students.
For this activity, I provided each group with a blog post or article from the following list to read and discuss:
Each group answered these two questions:
Each group was required to nominate a spokesperson to report their answers during the class discussion.
During the class discussion, the spokespeople reported each group's answers to the above questions. As each student presented, I took notes to assist the class in creating our class bulletin board. I made suggestions on the bulletin board, but students designed the overall look of it. The only requirements I had was that the board have a title and that each student be represented by two footprints, one discussing the positive impact and one discussing the negative impact that a digital footprint can have.
I also assigned students an essay specifically focusing on social networking. Students do not understand that their online life can paint a very vivid picture of who they are. Colleges and workplaces are researching their potential employees before admitting and hiring them. Your online social networks (Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, etc.) can negatively or positively impact your life.
Download my social networking essay assignment.