Thursday, January 28, 2016

Protecting Your Child's Digital Footrpint

We embarked on a journey this year discovering the power of various technology tools to connect to each other and globally. I do my best to protect your child’s identity and teach all our agents about digital citizenship and once students leave at 2:30 their guardians take over. Whenever we are online we add to what is known as our digital footprint. I encourage you to view this short video about what a digital footprint is:

It has always been important to me to not share any pertinent information about your child using online tools. Some of you already observed that when I post photos of students earning their multiplication certificates they cover their last name. Others have commented at how their agents have an online presence using a hash tag with their agent number. Students are able to learn about various digital tools while in a controlled environment.  When they leave me at 2:30 they have more freedom in regards to what you, as parents, allow. Several of our students have accounts with apps and programs where they need to be 13. I encourage you to talk to your child about social media use. I also encourage you to have them discuss apps they use as I have run into situations where some parents do not understand or know the app being used by their child. Our children are starting to leave their digital footprint at an early age. In fact my 2-year-old nephew figured out how to create a live video and post it to my sister’s Facebook account. Though he looked adorable walking through the house, staring at himself, and getting his coat put on my sister was less than thrilled that he posted a live video to her Facebook. None of us know how he got from the point of turning the app on to posting the video but he managed. I remember my niece who was still babbling knew where her apps were on my IPhone. She also knew how to manipulate the screen before she could speak.

I am very excited so many students are blogging. I have seen some of our students and parents comment on blogs, which is a great way for us to connect. However I want to remind you that when your child goes to respond to a blog and does not do so as a guest, as I had suggested they do from the beginning, their first and last name will appear. This is a family decision since the commenting is being done at home but I wanted to make you aware that even these responses to blogs adds to a child’s digital footprint.

If I had children I would want to keep their identity safe for as long as possible. With the rapidly changing world the creation of their digital footprint is inevitable. However we can all do our part to slow that process down.

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