Thinking about Digital Footprints

What does your digital footprint look like?


There is no better time to think about your digital footprint than at the beginning of the school year. This fall we are concentrating our intermediate library lessons on the themes of digital citizenship. In 2007 the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE) published their National Educational Technology Standards for Students.

These are basic rules for using technology appropriately (Etiquette), communicating effectively (Communication), and protecting student safety (Rights and Responsibilities).

A person’s Digital Footprint is the digital trail they leave each time any electronic or computer device is used. Just sent an email?   Played an online video game? Sent a photo to a friend? You left a digital footprint in each of these situations. You have the choice on whether your digital trailer is positive or negative depending on how you manage it. (CommonSenseMedia)

We watched a video introducing the concept  of person’s digital footprint.


The vital lesson to be learned is that a person’s digital footprint LASTS! It’s actually more like a digital tattoo than a footprint.  Like tattoos, your digital footprint is extremely difficult to remove.

When we learn about the importance of digital citizenship and the mark we are making on the world, it’s not a time to be scared. It’s an opportunity to make that mark thoughtfully knowing you are creating a digital legacy for yourself.

 We also talked about not sharing your “YAPPY”.

What is YAPPY you ask?
This acronym is a trick to remember what to NEVER post online.
Y = Your full name
A = Address
P = Phone number
P = Passwords
Y = Your plans

The next time to get online you might even want to find out what your digital footprint looks like already. Get together with your family and make a game of it. Simply go to your favorite search engine and type your name. See what pops up! Who has the most hits?


What does your digital footprint look like?

How do you leave your digital mark the most?

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6 thoughts on “Thinking about Digital Footprints

  1. Dear Mrs.Hembree

    I loved this lesson on digital footprint I’m sure it alerted many kids about Yappy
    This lesson was very fun it told me a lot about what to do and what not to do online and on the internet.

    From your friend

    • Dear Josa,
      We forget how important it is to protect privacy and make good decisions online. I’m glad this lesson helped you!
      What do you think we should cover next? Do you have any advice?
      Mrs. Hembree

  2. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    Your post about digital footprint is so right.
    I didn’t know much about digital footprint until BB got into blogging. It’s a lesson we all need to know about.
    It so wonderful to read Josa comment and how much he got out of the lesson on digital footprint.
    I would even go as far as to say that I am always tell BB to be careful on instagram and posting photos.

    It’s a lesson we all need to remember.

    Thanks again Mrs Hembree.

    From your pal down under,

    • Dear AA,

      You have been a wonderful example of developing a positive digital footprint for BB and other parents blogging with their children. All of your decisions online have been thoughtful and safe. I did a search of AA and BB on a search engine and your profile is clean! Congratulations! It’s the photos that get people in trouble later in life.

      Your friend in WA,
      Mrs Hembree

  3. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    This was a timely post, as we are embarking upon an e-mail project with our friends at UPPS in Victoria, Australia. Before we began our e-mails (we are using e-Pals), we read your post and watched the video, and it engendered an interesting discussion on the subject. I like the fact that it encourages children to think about their future legacy, rather than just presenting them with a set of rules for safe usage. Sometimes these rules can make children see more danger than potential, and it’s healthy to see both sides. Thank you for posting this.
    Mrs Monaghan

    • Dear Mrs. Monaghan,
      It’s so easy to scare people, but I’m not interested in that tactic. If students are thoughtful, follow the golden rule, and have parents who are also aware of their child’s digital footprint, then I think the potential for good rules! I hope you have a great time with your ePals in Australia! What a great learning opportunity!
      Mrs. Hembree

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