Te{a}ch Talk

Tips, Tricks, and Thoughts on Transformation

Volume 1, Number 10, March 19, 2015

Being Well Googled

"If you don't have a footprint, it's kind of like not having a résumé." --George Couros speaking at TIES 2014

As we connect and interact more and more through the internet, we have the opportunity to develop digital footprints that leave a positive imprint on our online world. Furthermore, we have the opportunity to guide our students in creating their own positive digital footprints. Most employers and many admissions offices now include quick internet searches in their application review process. What they find is up to us to create.

Thinking Points on our Digital Footprints

While our lives are much, much more than the internet, what is on the internet may be the first impression others get of us (this is particularly true for our students). While we teach our students how to find good material on the internet, we also want to teach them to create good material.

  • Life offline is part of our footprint: Most of what we see about people online is actually something that was done offline. Employer websites, news articles, as well as pictures, videos, and stories from a game, party, or outing often become part of our footprint, whether we share them online or somebody else does.
  • Our footprint is more than what we post: How content gets shared after we (or our friends) post it online and the responses generated by content becomes part of our footprint. Chances are you've seen David After the Dentist. People sharing this father's video of his son has led to almost 130 million views on YouTube, plus many remixes, re-posts, and spoofs that have millions more views.
  • If it's online, it's public: Even when we share content with our friends through social media, password protected photo albums, or email, it will be archived somewhere and can be shared by others. When sharing anything digital, it may be seen by people other than the intended recipients.

The Good News...

We have the ability to make our web presence positive and to lead our students in doing the same. In the next Te{a}ch Talk: tips for creating a positive digital footprint.
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