Reflection on topic 4: Customizing digital footprint and identity.


Photo Credit: DC P via Compfight cc

When we look back on the footprints behind us, or when we take out our Identity Card, have we realized that there are digital ones that invisible while truly exist in our life, and they are going to be closely stay with us in the future. We had kept making them since the rise of the digital age and our kids were started to make them even long before they were born. “Your online life, permanent as a tattoo” (Juan Enriquez)is absolutely right!

Our debate is, Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids. Agree or not.

This topic matters to things. One is the sharing manners, and the other one is the awareness of an early building digital identity.

Seen from the first glance, I don’t agree that some parents turning to be crazy fans of posting pictures of their children to social media. As a child, especially when grown up, one would be embarrassed  looking through. And growth is far faster than parents could imagine, which will lead to a gap when children feel like they are treated as a kids without respects when their parents posting their photos online. However, when thinking about in a classroom context instead of a private context like home, sharing and openness in classroom is  necessary.

Sharing makes a difference to their learning in school. We can see from the next video students are passionate about sharing their works to online public. They need audience to give them feedback. So being transparent and authentic learning i’s a very good transformation of today’s education.

Besides, building a positive digital identity is paramount to cultivate their virtual identity. If they are not taught about how to share,  they can’t turn to a wholesome adult. And if the school does not undertake this responsibility, who will?

I learned in Kathy Cassidy’s video who makes a good model for me to know what happened and can be happened in a modern classroom. Creating pathways and enhancing learning is worth the efforts. Helping school children leave their learning footprints online is meaningful both to their job hunting and whole life. Students can also make big progress in such process and turn to be a responsible online citizen.

However, we need to face the impacts that oversharing or improper sharing bring to everyone. It’s not always safe online and what received online is not always kindness.


Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

Does sharing photos of your children on Facebook put them at risk? It’s the first question when we think about the online safety.  The experience shared on the article, I believe, is a common situation in everyone life and I really like the deep reflection of the author about the children who is not like consenting adults. During the sharing process, the children’s identity information might be disclosed. And another concern is around consent. I personally prefer to keep privacy in this circumstances like using a pet name and check my privacy settings, and what’s more, when posting photos, I prefer to choose the normal one instead the funny ones and close-up ones. Or even, not to share.

And in school, we need to obey guidelines when we want to share students’ work. Besides,  it’s not very hard for teacher to find some time and discuss with students about digital footprints and virtual identities. Remind them to separate academic accounts and private ones, and remind them keep on privacy even in their private ones.

We do want to enjoy social media communication activities as it is part of modern life already. So some tips we can obey to keep our privacy and reduce the hidden dangers. Manage our online reputations by limiting the amount of personal information, changing privacy settings, deleting unwanted comments and remove names from photos and so on. We need to be a active manager about what we behave online if we want to enjoy the digital age. And most important, as parents, we need to help our children guard their privacy before they are able to provide informed consent and turn capable online citizens.

As for questions as “Is sharing a moral imperative?” “Who owns a teacher’s work?””Is it the school’s responsibility to build students’ digital identities?” I’d like to say, every teacher can develop their own teaching styles and skills. They have freedom to choose whether to use social media or not for their curriculum. But, there won’t be bad effects if teachers are willing to speak one more sentence or word to remind students on what if they want to share online. One is better than none. As teachers, to protect our students from potential hazards is always the working goal.

This entry was posted in EC&I830 2016spring. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reflection on topic 4: Customizing digital footprint and identity.

  1. Pingback: Start the conversation…. Sharing Matters – What's Your Story?

  2. I agree we really do need to be active managers of our online information if we want to enjoy the digital age. We need to commit to being aware of what we are sharing 🙂


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