I have a ton of resources I would love to share with students to engage them in their learning! With every opportunity comes responsibility, however. As teachers, we get to be the ones on the front-line to bring them that news.
So, I thought we would first look at the wonderful merits of the technologies our students use. (And, they do use it. ~3 out of 250 said they didn't use social media. ~2 out of that 250 didn't have a smartphone.)
I showed them a video of what could go wrong if they left a digital media imprint that was unfavorable of them. Watch this funny video clip of the job applicant who can't quite bluff his way out with charisma and charm after making poor social media choices: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcnO5tH0gf4
Then, we discussed how we can make certain this doesn't happen to us:
I grouped the students into pairs (they shouldn't know each other) and told them to Google their partner. Of course, we had ground rules. We discussed how they would close a page if something lewd came up on the computer; be respectful; and, their goal was to see if they could describe their partner by Googling their name.
My point to them: Don't let your future university or employer wonder which picture is yours. You drive your digital footprint by making certain you follow the 3-Steps above to brand your image with the message you wish to portray. Then, use other tools to help you bring the portrait you wish to create to the top and bury the others. I use a free tool called Brand Yourself, but there are lots out there. Google it. :)
So, go on. Help me preach the importance of teaching our students how to drive their image before just handing them the keys to the Internet Highway.
What does your digital imprint look like?
P.S. I had a student ask me once: "Ms. Ensmann, you always tell us to 'Google it.' What did people do before Google?" I told him that they weren't as smart as him. They didn't have the world of knowledge in their pocket like we do. (Typically, the volumes of knowledge were left at home to get dusty on a shelf.:))