Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Students' Digital Footprints

As we prepare to go fully 1:1 next school year in our district, there is a lot of work to be done and logistics to hammer out.  The possibilities for change in our classrooms, our buildings, our students' homes, and our community are exciting.  While this won't happen overnight, the end results seem limitless.  One of the many things I've been thinking about is the concept of student digital footprints.  For many of our faculty and staff, myself included, we've only recently begun to leave our footprints on the World Wide Web.  Some of the items are professional while others are personal, but together they can tell a story about each of us.  Our students and our own children are growing up in a time when their entire lives may be, in one form or another, documented online.  The ramifications of this could be extremely positive for them but also potentially very negative.  The simple example of an employer "Googling" a potential new hire's name is just one of many scenarios where a digital footprint could come into play.  I'll be thinking about this topic a lot more in the upcoming semester and how it relates to what we do in education and how we do it.  If you're interested in this topic, I encourage you to watch the following TEDx talk by author Steve Johnson.  Please also consider leaving a comment with your thoughts or links to resources that I and others reading this post may benefit from.


  1. Let me start by saying I watched this multiple times. This made me reflect on my teaching and how important it is to bridge the gap between our classrooms and the world our students enter when they leave. Last semester I tossed around the idea of eportfolios. This really inspires me to make it happen in 2012. My goal is to have my students create something that is truly useful, not just something they build to earn a grade. I'm thinking Google Sites. Here is a site I've found useful so far for eporfolios with Google Apps.

    This is a really great clip Bryan. You should post it on Leyden's Digital Evolution Site. It might inspire others!

  2. I thought this clip did a good job bridging the generational differences in technology as well as showing the need for a positive digital footprint. With Leyden going 1:1, I also feel we have a responsibility for teaching students the importance and impact of their footprint, and how it could impact their near future.

  3. I encourage ePortfolios as both PROCESS as well as product. I have been enthusiastic about ePortfolios as a showcase for a long time, but was struck by a comment made by Helen Barrett at FETC:

    Portfolios are as much about the CONVERSATION...

    This dovetailed well with my own FETC presentation: where I show how we can have digital conversations with our students which tell the 'story' of their (and OUR) learning!

    Let me know if I can help you figure out how to use those Chromebooks to do so! In my own personal experience, Diigo social bookmarking will work much better on a Chromebook than an iPad!