There was a lot of information given to us the first week of this course. Luckily, it was all related and easy to understand. The main focus was on ‘digital footprints’ and ‘netiquette’. While doing the Digital Footprint Scavenger Hunt, I found at http://www.ask.com/wiki/Digital_footprint?lang=en that a digital footprint is basically the data that is left behind on on the internet by users, such as social media profiles, comments, blogs, pictures, etc. It is referred to as a ‘footprint’ because every time you post something on the internet you are leaving a permanent mark (in most cases). Once posted, you can never make something truly disappear because it has already been put out there and you never know it someone has seen it or saved it.
The other interesting topic was ‘netiquette’, which to be honest, I did not even know was a word. The Albion.com Netiquette Site explains that netiquette is basically network etiquette. So, in the same way that we abide by social etiquette with people in person, there are certain rules and manners for behaving properly online. This is a very significant topic, because proper understanding of netiquette would help to avoid cyberbullying, profanity, plagiarism, etc.
Aside from these two concepts, we learned quite a bit about blogs. According to our textbook reading, a blog is basically an online diary. Some people use blogs to write about personal everyday events and relationships, whereas other people may use blogs to express opinions about issues or share information and news. The article ‘Six Reasons Why Kids Should Know How to Blog’ by Barseghian, T. (2011, Aug.) was very interesting, because there is often a negative perspective of children using the internet, especially in terms of leaving ‘digital footprints’. But when taught the appropriate ways to use technology and the internet, it can actually be a positive thing for children. Barseghian, T. (2011, Aug.) explains that the six main positive outcomes of children learning to blog is that: 1) children learn to create positive digital footprints, 2) children learn to communicate using digital tools, 3) it creates transparency for parents and teachers so they can keep track of what their child is doing online, 4) it provides children with news ways of thinking about web tools, 5) children establish an effective digital citizenship, and 6) children can take pride in their work done online.
Personally, I do want a digital footprint. I mean, of course I already have one, but I don’t mind it. I think everyone should leave a mark for people to remember them by. I like the idea of the world being able to see me grow as a person, physically, intellectually, and emotionally. It is a great way for family and friends to feel connected to you, as well as for the world to know your story.
Of course, the digital footprint you leave behind should be a positive one. A positive digital footprint is one that portrays you in a good light. Following proper netiquette, refraining from posting anything on the internet that would cause you to get in trouble or make you look bad, and always keeping in mind that once something is on the internet you can never truly take it back is how you can create a positive digital footprint.