Sunday, April 19, 2009

tattoo_750 by clocker

In the perfect world Digital Footprints would perhaps be little like a walk along the foreshore, some footprints staying a while, and some washed away. As this is not the case, internet users of any age need to be made aware of the permanency of digital word and image, and their expansive reach. Digital Tattoo seems a more fitting image as the possiblility of being stung by it or attempting to erase something once posted, would be about as successful, and perhaps as painful in the interim.

A digital footprint is a record of our activity in places such as Facebook or My Space, e mails sent and received, photos and blogs etc. We send these presuming they are only going to be seen by the people we have selected, but not so. Links spread the word – both good and bad. Having noted that – it’s here -the internet is the major form of communication now for many people and so responsible use is the key.

Childrens’ mistakes would likely be small, teenagers a potential cacophony of inappropriate postings and comments as they stretch and grow, and often feel invincible. They keyboard giving a sense of distance in terms of connectivity. As educators, teaching and modelling responsible and respectful use explicitly is important. Ultimately though students spend much of their time out of school on their social pages, so it is also the responsibility of the parents who purchase the computers to ensure their children are using technology appropriately. Footprints will differ digitally, as everything else about individuals does. So will the need to monitor and direct.

Silvia Tolisano clearly spoke of the positives for learning and is what educators are doing – using technology to learn in an every expanding environment.

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