Your Digital Footprint – Create With Care


Some rights reserved Photo Credit: kyteacher Flickr via Compfight cc

Having a digital footprint is (arguably) unavoidable in today’s day and age. As digital consumers & transitioning prosumers, we use the Internet in countless ways throughout our day. Being aware of the online persona we are creating is imperative in order to be a successful 21st Century citizen.

Having a purposeful digital footprint can help international educators when searching for a new position because employers will see how you are implementing technology and get a better sense of who you are as a person and an educator in real-time. It is becoming more and more common for potential employees to search for applicants on Google and social media outlets to find out as much information as they can before making a job offer. If you are a responsible digital citizen, then your footprint can be a tremendous asset. On the flip-side, if you’re not aware of, or in control of your digital footprint, it can be easy for your digital footprint to form without you, leaving you vulnerable to a negative online presence.

Remember, if you don’t establish your online identity someone else can.

For teachers, creating and maintaining a digital footprint,( i.e. class blog, Seesaw, Google Drive, Google Classroom, Biblionasim etc.) are essential in order to follow best practice in education. In doing so, not only do we help students to create and be a part of their own PLN, we give students the opportunity to learn how to be a good digital citizen by modeling a positive online presence. It is our responsibility as educators to ensure that we are explicitly teaching digital citizenship and teaching children and parents about the importance of your digital footprint. There are a lot of misconceptions amongst our digital native and their digital immigrant parents. It is our responsibility to make sure we dispell them and help people understand the importance of online safety.

What’s your digital footprint? Discover your online identity is a wonderful post to share with students to help explain the importance of securing a positive and safe digital footprint. This video breaks it down easily for students (and parents) to understand.


Thankfully there are lots of great resources to help raise awareness about the importance of creating a positive digital footprint and the idea behind it is pretty basic.

  1. Teach students the basics. Establish a definition of digital citizen and digital footprint.

  2. Establish guidelines for appropriate digital etiquette.
  3. Educate your parent community. There is a growing generational technology gap.
  4. Keep private information private.
  5. Think before you post: TRUE, HELPFUL, INSPIRING, NECESSARY KIND?













Jennifer Byrnes

My name is Jen and this is my 10th year as an educator. I am a fourth-grade teacher at the American School of the Hague. I have lived and worked in the US, Uk, Italy, China and the Netherlands. I have taught grades K-4.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Jen,

    You’re right, school’s increasingly expect prospective teachers to have a positive online presence. I hear this from administrators even when they do not have one themselves! Here’s a thought! Once we have helped our students (whether yours in elementary school or mine in Grade 11) to understand the importance and the mechanisms of responsible digital citizenship, perhaps we could encourage them to spread that knowledge to the older teachers (we should all be lifelong learners!). That thought made me think of this video: I don’t know whether many school leaders will feel able to make themselves this vulnerable, but I hope one day to witness something like that interaction between the young and old.

  2. Hi Steve,
    I love this idea and completely agree with you. We should all strive to be life-long learners and learn from each other, young and old. Thank you for sharing that video, it really shows the benefits of our older generation learning from the younger generation and opens up the lines of communication for a reciprocal teaching and learning opportunity. It truly warmed my heart!

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