A New Nearpod Lesson
I have created a new Nearpod lesson that can be used anywhere from grade 4 to grade 8 in which we will learn about Digital Footprints. Digital Footprints are the tracks you leave all over the internet every time you go online. Any time you visit a website, leave a comment, post a picture, create a post on social media, post a video on youtube, participate in online chats, etc… you are leaving behind a digital footprint. It is extremely important to be aware of this because these footprints are permanent and searchable. In this Nearpod lesson you will participate in polls, quizzes, and a game of ‘Time to Climb’ to learn about this topic.
If you aren’t a Nearpod user, here is more on the topic of Digital Footprints;
Let’s watch this little video about Digital Footprints created by Common Sense Education.
It may seem impossible to believe but 15 years from now a future employer may be Googling your name and finding the mean comments you left all over YouTube, or the crazy photos you posted on social media, and thinking you may not be the best person to hire for a job! More importantly for today though, the things you are posting now will find their way back to parents and teachers. Here are some tips from safesitter.org to making sure that the tracks we leave online are the good kind!
So let’s think about some places online we need to be extra careful…
- Never share private information like your address, full name, school, phone number, or email in a game chat.
- Don’t make rude or mean comments in a game chat. Not only will it get you banned from the game, it will be permanently logged.
YouTube, TikTok, and Social Media Comments
- The comments you post online should be supportive and kind. Hurtful comments can never be erased, even if you delete the post. It is very easy for others to screenshot and share the things you’ve posted.
The Sites You Visit
- Make sure you are visiting sites that are appropriate and approved by parents and teachers. Every site you visit shows up in your Search History and can be seen by parents and school administrators.
Your Messenger Chats
- Most parent-approved texting apps like Messenger Kids allow parents to see every chat. Other chat apps allow friends and family to screenshot and save messages. So be aware of the kinds of photos and messages you are texting with others. What you say today may be online forever.
Your Social Media and Blog Posts
- Make sure that all of the videos, photos and posts you put online are ones you’d be happy to share forevermore, because that is how long they will be searchable online!
- Never post pictures of your friends without their permission.
- Make sure you have parental permission to be posting certain kinds of posts on the internet.
Middle School Digital Literacy Lesson
Or maybe you were talking about something with your device near at hand, and then noticed an ad for something connected to what you were talking about an hour later. Coincidence? Not at all. This video explains how and why this happens, and what exactly a cookie is.
After watching the video, I want you to pair up with a friend who you share often with on social media. Imagine you are trying to collect data from each other’s information to target them with ads. What can you find out about your friend that would help you target products to them? Example: I notice that my friend is always posting photos of her dog online. If I were an advertiser, I would target her with ads for fancy dog toys, furniture, and biscuits. She often comments about how much she misses her family in Israel. I would target her with ads for chat products like Houseparty, Zoom, etc… See how many you can come up with. Write them in a Google Doc and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our two grade two classes got their first lesson about online footprints and how we leave them. They learned how to make sure that the footprints they are leaving online are the good kind!
I made sure to highlight a few other ways we can leave our footprints online that were not touched on in the video;
- Comments left on websites (ex. youtube), video games, and blogs.
- Our search history
- Posting information that is intentionally not true
- Posting embarrassing photos or videos of ourselves or others
We played a game where two characters – Ellie the Elephant and Mervin the Mouse left their online footprints all over the library. Students had to find these card footprints and decide which footprints were and were not the right kind to leave online. We all had lots of fun with this lesson!