Wow, what a minefield this topic is – just participated in the ACMA Cybersafety Training for educators last week and came out a little overwhelmed but more impressed that schools have a definite role in this area. If we don’t expose the students to the risks, rights and responsibilities, they are not going to get it anywhere else.
One immediate thing that occurred to us at school, was the need to broaden our AUP to include the students publishing their work on-line – blogs, wikis etc. Even their exposure to the outside world that we are instigating through Skype conversations, probably needs to be addressed with parents. More ‘legals’ but unavoidable I fear.
I have mixed feelings about the ‘Digital Dossier’ or footprint as it is sometimes called. I understand that there are people out there who use this information for ‘bad’ things – identity theft being the most obvious, however I weigh the likelihood of that, up with the benefits of the online existence. I guess it is about being careful and thinking about what we leave behind. The fact is, whatever we do, there are some things outside our control. Life has always had risks, people get assaulted in the street, go to war etc, we just need to consider the ways we can minimise the harm or risk. People used to (and probably still do) forge bank cheques, kidnap others, etc etc – the options are more technical and hidden in this technological world, but life goes on ….
On a different note an interesting post on OZTL the other day
It is true that the digital footprint does gives clues about people, and gives more information about what you are up to etc. However the opposite can also be telling in the current climate. Having recently been through the process of hiring, I went looking for the digital footprint of the candidates, and what I found disconcerted me – in many cases I could find nothing.
Our roles as information literacy specialists is shifting slightly, and I believe what happens online is a reflection of what your practices are. In the case of our school we were looking for someone who could be a leader in the area of information and digital literacies in our mac 1:1 school, and if i could not find anything about a candidate online – ie they did not have digital footprint, then I was not able to consider them seriously for this position.
So even though having an inappropriate digital footprint can be damaging to your chances of employment, so can the absence of one. Just another perspective.
The concept of Intellectual property is interesting. many kids I speak with, have no moral compass when it comes to using material they find on the Internet. If it is there , they assume they have rights. There are some good resources on this, however, the battle against LimeWire and all the download options for YouTube etc is a difficult one.
This week, I also participated in another of Jenny Luca’s Elluminate sessions – this time on Nings. Love them, but can’t apply with primary kids – there are plenty of other toys/tools to use 😉
Our staff shared the Cybersafety session on Elluminate and interesting discussions ensued.