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To close out our Web 2.0 unit (that didn’t get nearly as much time as I would have liked), we are going to be discussing Internet Footprints for the next two days. In retrospect this should have absolutely been done first thing, because we’ve actually been changing their footprints throughout the unit as we became more involved in online discussion and conversation.

The goal of teaching the idea of an Internet Footprint is to get students to think about EVERYTHING they create online. The idea that what they put on their MySpace profile can affect college and job options in the future, your blog can be found and looked at by ANYONE, not just your intended audience. Comments you leave on other blogs and VoiceThreads wlll reflect on you, and again can be read by many more than what you originally expect.

But the question I’m struggling with is how much of your Internet Footprint do you really control? Clearly you have most of the control over your MySpace profile, but what about pictures that others tag of you, or comments that others leave on your page? Yes, you have control over your blog, but what about others who reference your blog in theirs? That becomes part of your Internet Footprint, because when someone googles your name, that web site will also appear. I have a picture that was taken at a American University basketball game where I look ridiculous decked out in my red, white and blue that was featured in a recent EagleBlog post. While I did pose for the picture, I didn’t have any control whether or not it appeared online. But again, that has become part of my Internet Footprint. So where is the focus when we teach this? Simply on what we are posting online, or the idea that the Internet is everywhere. We have to be aware everywhere because you never know what could end up online, and eventually impact your Internet Footprint?

I would love thoughts on this, and how to teach it, before we dive in next week!

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