Saturday, April 30, 2016

Digital Tattoo

The Digital Tatoo.

I've used it as a metaphor before. 

I've lectured about it. 

My intent was to have students THINK before they posted to the internet. I told them we don't know how their information will be used in the future. I still believe that. I don't want them to do things now that they regret in the future. 

A few things about this:

1. I want students to take risks. 
I am torn between the belief school is a place to fail and make mistakes you can learn from, allowing students to redo assignments and quizzes, and motivating them to try harder the first time around. 

If I am scaring them with the image of a permanent tattoo, why would they take risks with their learning?

2. Rewriting information
In my talk, I briefly spoke about how it is possible to change what the information people can search about you by creating more content and continually striving to improve the content so the best rises to the top of the search results. I am glad that I work at a school that believes in giving students a chance to create digital portfolios of their work throughout their school careers.

3. Changing attitudes
Currently we believe that teenagers inappropriate posts will be held against them, but I am starting to think this won't be the case. I forgot who said it (Dana Boyd perhaps?) just as we have witnessed a shift in attitudes about drug use by presidential candidates, I believe people in the future will only look at the recent posts (one year?) to judge a person's behavior.


  1. I think that for many cases, you are right. Our society has become ADD and won't look too far back into anyone's profile for mundance updates. However, there are always extreme cases, whether because a post goes viral, or it is triggered by a keyword search, or because an employer is thorough. It is because of the possibility that we want to teach our students to be aware of their digital footprint so that it is not an embarrassing tattoo they regret later!

  2. I agree about how far back people will look at mistakes. I actually think the solution is creating more positive content as a way to negate the effects of a poor choice. I once put out a post that some found controversial. I was so worried about some of the negative feedback I got. It lasted a day, and the people who were angry about my post were then angry about something else!