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Monday, December 05, 2016

Teaching Students about Their Digital Footprints | Faculty Focus

Photo: Dawn McGuckin
Dawn McGuckin, professor at Durham College (Canada) summarizes, "Our students live in an online world. They’re emotionally and physically attached to their devices and many of their relationships exist within technology."

Photo: Faculty Focus

As educators, there are many ways that we have had to adapt to this changing landscape of communication within our teaching, and when I look around my institution, I think we’re doing a remarkable job at keeping up with the rapid pace of change.
However, one area that doesn’t get the attention it deserves is educating students on the digital footprints they leave behind. Footprints that can jeopardize their employment potential. A large part of our job as college educators is to ensure that our students have the skills to become contributing members of society working in their chosen fields. We give them content knowledge and skills and we may even impart some of our worldly knowledge, but we rarely think about their online activities and the long-term ramifications they can have on their ability to achieve these goals.
I have presented on this topic on several occasions throughout North America and I am always surprised by how little some post-secondary educators know about the functionality and privacy of certain social media platforms. At the most recent conference, one participant told my colleague and me that it was safe to send a photo over SnapChat because it disappeared after a set amount of time. I was astounded. [See: Snapchat admits deleted photos aren’t really deleted] We explained to her that this was certainly not the case and absolutely anything transmitted on your phone or the Internet can have a positive or detrimental impact on your future employability.
Scenarios such as this only confirm for me that instructors not only need more information on this topic but should also have a solid lesson plan in place to educate their students about online activity.
Below I describe several steps for creating a lesson plan that will aid in making the Internet a constructive tool for building a positive, online identity for our students. 
Read more... 

References for this article are available on the Faculty Focus website

Source: Faculty Focus


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