With every mouse-click, you leave behind a digital trail of what you do, where you go, and who you know online. Your digital trail creates a digital footprint of your online identity that increases in size every time you post, share, and search online. Your online identity can tell a lot about you.
Ask students to follow their digital trail then reflect on what they find
AHA!: My digital footprint is different from who I am in real life!
Grade Level: 9-12
Key Question #1 for Construction: What am I authoring?
Core Concept #1: All media messages are constructed
Materials: Paper and student access to the Internet
Activity: Ask students to write down their user names for email, Twitter, Skype, etc. Then ask them to list their favorite web sites and social media sites. Who do they follow on Twitter? Which web sites do they visit? If they have a blog, ask them to write down the name of the blog.
Next, have students copy and paste their profile pictures, selfies, “About” pages with interests and likes listed, shared or tagged photos, and videos into one document named “my digital footprint.” Also include any recent tweets or instagram photos.
Ask students to reflect on what they see in their digital footprint. Start by asking the following questions: How might others view you? Does your online identity match who you are in real life? What does it say about how you view yourself? Is this how you want people to perceive you?
Remind students to take control of their online identities; they are the authors of their digital footprints. Suggest that they delete posts and/or photos that might cast a negative light on who they are and how they want to be perceived.
This MediaLit Moment is based on an activity developed by Dr. Bobbie Eisenstock, California State University, Northridge.
The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2014, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com