2011 Digital Footprint Reputation and Citizenship

Newsletter Learning Technologies Update June 2011

A student recently mentioned that she initially found the laptop a distraction and now that the novelty had worn off she was more focused at using it for learning at school.    We were very pleased to hear this and hopefully more students are coming to the same conclusion.

This discussion also reminds us that we all in a partnership and have to be diligent in monitoring and guiding how the girls use their laptop. There are a few concepts which might help us in this process.

The first is the idea of a digital footprint. Loreto girls are well drill about what they put online can stay there for a long time if not forever. This is the footprint they can leave behind, even behind the supposedly private wall of Facebook and a private twitter account. Individual pictures in a locked down Facebook account can be accessed and saved by a   friend and used elsewhere or passed around. We have heard girls comment about things they have seen in the media and how silly the person was for not checking the settings of their account.  Our question for adult readers is, do you have a Facebook profile or sufficient knowledge on how it works so you can help your daughter/student if she needs guidance?

The second concept we would like to discuss is the notion of a digital reputation.  The majority of our students use social media like Facebook to communicate, connect and collaborate with their friends. They should use each other to validate the authenticity other online friends they meet.  When we meet people face to face we are sometimes aware of their reputation and the same can be said of one’s digital reputation. Loreto students need to treat people online as they would like to be treated themselves. In person and online we all want to be considered as people of integrity and of value.

The third concept we would like to canvas is the idea of digital citizenship. The digital world does exist beyond the school gate and if our daughters/students are to be equipped for this world they need to be guided the through the process in the same we at the school want them to be good citizens in the world in which they will live.

Digital citizenship is age dependent and is based on six concepts.  Respect yourself and protect yourself, respect others and protect others,  and respect intellectual property and protect intellectual property.  Source: http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/The+Digital+Citizen

Year 7 to 9 students are at the stage of  “looking after yourself”, looking after others and looking after property. Interestingly, for some students, the latter is a case in point when it comes to care for their laptop.

Year 10 to 12 students are at the stage where they should “respect yourself and protect yourself”, respect others and protect others and they are now at the age where they should  respect intellectual property and protect intellectual property. The latter point is very important for the work they do at school and if performed well at school will hold them in good stead in the workforce or university after school.