My emerging digital identity: I’ve done a Google search and found no surprises, I often Google myself as a means to keep tabs on how much others can learn about me (my digital identity). If something I don’t like pops up, hopefully I can find a way to remove or change it. On this note, learning how to use Google alerts was comforting. I set up an alert for both myself and for my daughter.
Both my instructor and Will Richardson referred to being in control of my own digital identity. Control means I view myself as the author of the Google search, the wordsmith who has editorial rights to change the results of the searches so that they become the story I pen. I like this idea. The practice solves the issue of others accessing information about me that I would not want known. The message here: overload the system with quality content. The more digitally engaged I become, the more (digitally) knowable I become – dive in.
However, there is another part to this story. A few weeks ago, I blogged about students being visual trinkets. I’ve been chatting about this idea with some friends . Over coffee yesterday, I was talking with a mentor, and we were discussing the need for teachers to teach digital citizenship. Because my mentor was once an abused child, she is specifically sensitive to the vulnerability of children whose experiences have left them with a distorted concept about how to seeking adult affirmation. We agreed that such children may be particularily susceptible to improper overtures of “friendship” offered on-line, that they might need to be taught about appropriate and inappropriate on-line contact, that they would need to be sensitized to the pitfalls of revealing their vulnerability to strangers. As a teacher, I believe that as well as teaching my students to create quality digital representations of themselves I must also concurrently teach my students how to critically evaluate the responses of strangers to that student’s digital identity. I am morally responsible to get off the side-lines and assume that teaching digital citizenship is my professional role.