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Debate #7: Do teachers have a responsibility to help students develop a digital footprint?

If teachers have a responsibility to help students develop a digital footprint, there needs to be professional development opportunities in place to assist educators.  If you do not have any social media accounts, or platforms, how can one adequately educate their students on it?  If an educator does want to help develop a digital footprint for their students, what happens if their beliefs or outlook on what should be posted does not align?

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I believe it is important to teach students about a digital footprint, so they can develop their own platform if they choose to share their thoughts online.  However, I do not think teachers have a responsibility to help students develop their own digital footprint.  I would argue that most students already have a digital footprint prior to attending my class, so I believe it is up to the educator to teach on this topic and responsible use, but ultimately, they have already created their digital footprint.  I reflect on my own digital footprint from when I was a teenager, and my views, outlook on life, and the things I posted do not reflect who I am now.  Odds are, that is the case with most people.  Therefore, the digital footprint will not adequately describe who the person grows into years down the line.


One response to “Debate #7: Do teachers have a responsibility to help students develop a digital footprint?”

  1. I also look back at my online persona as a teenager. Thankfully it was in the early days of the internet and most of it was lost when angelfire shutdown. Although as we all know the internet is forever.

    My students are more aware of their digital footprint than any class I’ve had before. Perhaps due to their experiences during the past two years. Still they think they are bullet proof because of a free VPN they use.

    I agree that we should not be responsible, however I would not shy away if it did become part of the curriculum. At least in that case we would have some dedicated resources to help guide any lessons we presented (ideally anyway).


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