When I was younger and I wanted to find someone's address/phone number I had to pull out this BIG yellow book that had HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of pages!  Of course it was alphabetized - thank goodness!  The only information I could find is name, address and phone number.  It didn't tell me what they did for a living, what committees they served on, what their children's names were, who they were married to, etc.  You had to HUNT for all of that information!

In the lines of teaching good digital citizenship to my own children I began to wonder - what does my digital footprint look like?  Now, some of you are thinking "What the heck is a digital footprint?"

When you step in mud and continue walking what follows you?  Your muddy footprints.  You see footprints in the sand, after stepping in water and even tires leave a print (not a footprint but you get the picture).  These footprints can show you where you have been and where you ended up.  A digital footprint is somewhat the same concept; but, it shows where you have been online and what you have been doing.  A little scary, huh?  As long as you practice GOOD DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP you should not be in the least bit concerned!  

In the search for my own digital footprint I found pages upon pages of information on myself.  However, I found one particular item that slipped under my radar.  About a year ago an online education magazine contacted me through LinkedIn (one image in my footprint).  They asked if I would have time to be interviewed about my college studies and how I ended up in the education field.  Well - I did the interview and never heard anything.  I even emailed the reporter but did not get a response.  To my surprise - I found an online article about myself (kind of nicely done, too - made me see just what I have actually accomplished!).

When you begin searching your own digital footprint - what do you think you will find?  Pictures, websites, accounts - what else?  This is a great way to share with students, young & old, how what they put on the Internet is searchable!!!  Make smart choices on what you choose to post and do online because it could be hurtful or beneficial later in life.
 


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    I have been married for 18 years and have three wonderful children.  I love technology and I love seeing technology and education become one.  Currently I am serving my 2 year term as the Professional Development Chair for ISTE SIGMS.  Stop by and visit our monthly webinars!

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