What is a digital footprint?
Living in the south, we all can understand the concept of walking across the carpet with that good ole' red clay mud on our shoes. No matter how hard we scrub the carpet, it just doesn't ever come completely out does it?
The concept of a digital footprint is much like that red mud and is important for our scholars to understand. They need to understand that everything that is done online leaves a footprint that cannot be undone. A comment. A post. A video. A picture. A website that was visited. Searches in search engines. They all leave a trail that can always be traced back to a user or a computer. Students, and adults for that matter, need to understand that even with apps like Snapchat, in which a picture or video is "deleted" after 10 seconds, someone can always take a screenshot or record the video with another device. These items that have been "deleted" are now out there for all to see. Digital cannot be undone.
How can we leave a good footprint?
All digital users need to be good digital citizens. If you wouldn't say the comment or post in front of someone, or with your mother and father looking on; then don't say it online. If you wouldn't go to a website with the whole world looking over your shoulder; then don't go to the site. Old-fashioned cartoons used to show an angel and a devil on the shoulders of a person when they were trying to figure out whether to be good or bad. We should all think about these figures sitting on our shoulders and then make the right choice BEFORE we do it.