Creating a better digital footprint one post at a time!

Only a few weeks ago I wrote a blog post titled ‘Do I need a digital footprint?’. This blog racked up a high 2 comments! YES…2! Is it fair to say I am pretty famous in the blogging world? HA! One of these comments stood out to me in particular — Thank you Jason! Below I have included a screenshot of Jason’s comment and a rewrite of the original blog post.

If someone was watching me 3 weeks ago drinking a coffee and eagerly searching on my laptop, they would have definitely seen a face of disappointment. Firstly because my coffee was not that great, and secondly because I could not find any information on myself anywhere on google. Mind you, I did only look through 6 pages worth of google (out of the hundreds I am sure there are). I really wanted to know what information google had on me, presuming it could only be based of my social media sites. Not only could I not even find a link to my Facebook profile, I also could not find a single picture, video or any information I had ever posted on social media. I was certain that even posts I made 7 years ago (and have recently deleted due to sheer embarrassment) would be floating around somewhere online. And they probably are, I just could not find them.

Whilst drinking my coffee (students cannot afford to waste $4.50), I began to critically reflect on the importance of having a digital footprint as a future teacher. For many people, their digital footprint is extremely important to them as it is a reflection of who they are and what they stand for. In regards to my own digital footprint, I can honestly say this was never something I put a lot of thought into…until now. I have to accept the fact that I have a digital footprint and that there is no turning back now. What I can do now is redirect my thinking, values and opinions and debate whether or not they are appropriate for my employers, future students and their to see.

https://www.google.com.au/search?as_st=y&tbm=isch&hl=en&as_q=think&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&cr=&as_sitesearch=&safe=images&tbs=sur:fmc#as_st=y&hl=en&tbs=sur:fmc&tbm=isch&q=think+before+posting+online&imgrc=GJa_DaluRJpLbM%3A

At the beginning of this year, an article went viral about a teacher who got ‘sacked’ because of her digital footprint (“Teacher sacked after holiday twerk”, 2016). The article communicates that a parent found an inappropriate video of the teacher (who was on a holiday in the US) on social media. The parent went on to report the video to the head of the school her child was attending and therefore the teacher was asked to resign. This article is a perfect example of how easy it is for people to find you and your information online, especially for those who are technologically advanced.

After reading this article, I decided to look at the exact laws and policies surrounding this issue for teachers in NSW. A list of the Social Media Policies can be found on the NSW Government Department of Education site (“Social Media Policy”, 2016). I was not surprised by these policies, however I did begin to use it as a criteria for information I have recently posted online.

Educators have a duty of care and a sense of responsibility to uphold. I believe that the responsibility of educators can be put in jeopardy if they upload information to the internet (on any site) carelessly. It is so important for teachers to have a clean and appropriate digital footprint, and this article just adds emphasis to my point. Not only is it because of the possible loss of job, but because any information accessed by the wrong people has the potential to put you and your family/friends in danger. And this goes for everybody.

As I continue my journey to becoming a primary teacher, I will now be asking myself a few questions before I upload something to any part of the internet. The questions will go something like this;

1. Is that appropriate for my employers, students and/or their parents to view?

2. Am I using appropriate language?

3. Does my image/video/blog uphold integrity?

4. Will I be hurting anyone with this post?

5. Is there any chance that the post/upload will negatively affect me in the future?

I hope to achieve a positive, useful and inspiring digital footprint by asking myself these questions prior to posting/uploading to the internet.


Reference

Teacher sacked after holiday twerk. (2016). NewsComAu. Retrieved from http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/school
teacher-sacked-after-parents-spot-facebook-video-of-her-twerking-on-us-holiday/news-story/3d261ee326f587207acba1c25a7a3f3b
. Retrieved 1 October, 2016

Social Media Policy. (2016). Det.nsw.edu.au. Retrieved from https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/technology/communication/PD20110418.shtml. Retrieved 1 October

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