This month I attended a conference for education consultants. One presenter shared with us information regarding today’s digital age. She asked us thought provoking questions, such as:
Do you know that employers and admissions counselors today are using Google to find out about potential employees and students?
Did you know that it is important to be Googleable and to teach students how to be appropriately Googleable?
These and other questions like this caused me to delve into a host of articles about this topic. I plan on reading several over the next month or two and writing reviews/summaries on the most interesting ones I find. Here is the first one.
“Footprints in the Digital Age” by Will Richardson, came from a publication called Educational Leadership. In this article, the father of two elementary-aged girls discusses his concerns that his daughters be Googled well–not just that they not have bad or “less than impressive” content come up about them–but that the content that does appear shows potential employers and admissions officers their “creativity, collaborative skills, and change-the-world work.” He shares the realities of how we (teachers, parents, professionals, and students) are already being Googled. We can choose to ignore it, or we can become aware of how to make it work for us safely. We can help our kids and students or pretend it does not exist. Richardson shares that a challenge educators (and in my opinion, parents) must deal with “is figuring out how to help students create, navigate, and grow the powerful, individualized networks of learning that bloom on the Web and helping them do this effectively, ethically, and safely.”
Another point that Richardson makes is that using the internet and social networking sites is more than just getting online to share information. He says students “need to learn how to share within the context of network building. They need to know that publishing has a nobler goal than just readership—and that’s engagement.” He shares an example of a 10-year-old girl who created a blog to honor the memory of her grandfather and turned it into a venue to connect with “tens of thousands of readers” with a similar passion for charity and humanitarian efforts, raising thousands of dollars. Richardson says, “We must help them learn how to identify their passions; build connections to others who share those passions; and communicate, collaborate, and work collectively with these networks.”
This article provides concrete examples of how elementary students, middle school students, and high school students should be learning about and engaging in building and sustaining networks, as well as in creating the right footprint in today’s digital age.
Read the full article here: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov08/vol66/num03/Footprints-in-the-Digital-Age.aspx
Or, check out the pdf of the original: http://web2denmark.pbworks.com/f/footprints.pdf