“Taking Charge of Your Digital Footprint”

Another blogger born! A tweet from DebHoggoz pointed me to http://natbott97.wordpress.com/, written by a high school student in Tasmania. The blog chronicles his interest in edugaming and his successful lobbying to get Minecraft offered as a school subject. His blog resonated with me for several reasons.

One- because of my own recent birth into the blogosphere. It is a thrill to participate in a continual conversation that takes place with people around the world and not just people seated around a table. How cool to witness a kid experience this.

Two- the student organizing a presentation, presenting to the principal and getting approval for the Minecraft course demonstrated passion, cooperation and taking ownership of one’s own learning.

Three- as written by Deb Hogg in a comment on one his posts, this young man has “taken charge of his ‘digital footprint.”

Teaching and informing kids how to take charge of their ‘digital footprint’- this is the goal! This is what it’s all about. If teachers do not assist with this goal, won’t we be doing our students a huge disservice?

Two examples of how ‘digital footprints’ can affect our lives come to mind. Firstly, colleges and employers will no doubt Google applicants and potential employees. What will their Google (digital footprint) profile reveal? Check out this recent article in Education Week titled Bad Online Behavior Jeopardizes Students’ College Plans. Secondly, ever heard of online “filter bubbles?” In short, this TED talk is about how the internet is feeding us what it thinks we want to see and read. This makes it harder for us to see the world beyond our own little bubble. Students should be aware of this.

Setting up a Minecraft server and maintaining the online community is exciting, challenging and beneficial to the participants. Blogging takes it to a whole new level and affords one an avenue to circumvent ‘filter bubbles’ and take charge of one’s own ‘digital footprint.’

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