Digital Footprint

Students will examine the extent and the quality of their digital footprint.

Photo of Lisa Parish
6 23

Written by

I really like this lesson plan from Digital Citizenship Adventures .( There is also an excellent lesson plan from Common Sense Education that I have attached. 

The overall goal for this adventure is to help students understand how you project yourself to world on the Internet. Specifically, students will learn:

  • learn more about the many ways you leave a trail of your presence on the web
  • understand how your presence is often permanent and beyond your ability to change or delete
  • and, on the positive side, how these facts provide you an opportunity to create a positive, on-going public presence about yourself as a digital citizen


Join the conversation:

Photo of Paul Kim

Hi Lisa,

First of all, thanks for participating in this collaboration between the Teachers Guild and ISTE. We really appreciate your contributions!

We’re in the last week of the build phase of the challenge on digital citizenship so it’s time to fine tune your idea before final voting begins next week.

Here are some things to consider as you continue to build on your idea:
- is your idea clear and will it inspire action from other teachers?
- would it be easy for a teacher to incorporate your idea about digital citizenship in their classroom?
- does your idea include some component of research and are there shareable resources?
- is your idea student-centered and does it promote agency?


Photo of John Faig

For younger students, consider having them reflect on their web history. There is an excellent Chrome add-on from an American University professor (Web Historian) )that helps students visualize their web activity.

Photo of Patricia Smeyers

This would enhance one of the weekly modules on my Digital Dynamo Unit posted to this site. Check it out and see if we can collaborate. Look at the Module for Digital Footprint. They search themselves and then make a timeline of what they find and five events that they wish would be posted about them online in the future. Then they post to Google Classroom for an online discussion using proper netiquette for practice. I used Common Sense Media for inspiration as well.

Photo of Lisa Parish

Patricia I would love to collaborate with you. I love the idea of the students writing events they wish to be posted about them in the future. It is similar to having students writing a letter to their future selves :) What a brilliant idea ! It also help us get to know our students on a deeper level.

Photo of Patricia Smeyers

Great! I added some Google "Be Internet Awesome" curriculum questions to the last page of the site. I am not sure how to blend this yet, but there are lessons about oversharing that are great. The students love the Interland game. Check out their curriculum if you haven't already. I was presented with it at Google NYC because I am a Certified Google Trainer and I was very impressed. So are the students. :)

Photo of Greg Lau

I like the role playing aspect to give students a glimpse of being on the perceiving end. The lesson plan has a pretty good concept in that regard and it's a good starting point.

this has me thinking about student engagement on the topic. Youths often (adults too) do not feel there is trouble until it's too late. Especially in an increasingly reactive and impulsive culture, including engagement methods to give students a more urgent, relatability to the importance of digital footprinting may be helpful.

perhaps devising an exercise in which the students produce a footprint and demonstrate just how viral or not viral something can get. By showing the volatility in virility of digital content, one must rely on that uncertainty as a stopgap before damaging one's reputation. I think the strengths of the attached lesson can be incorporated into this.