Digital Footprints – Hello – Is It Me Your Looking For?


Should you have a digital footprint as an international educators?

Searching through my own digital footprint I found very little.  Hello???? Very little – scarily very little.  Initially I was kind of proud.  I had managed to lock down the exposure and left it to my fellow and slightly more famous McGrady, Tracy McGrady to garner the majority of McGrady images online.  This initial pride quickly faded as I started to wonder how might this hinder my prospects of future employment?  Why was this question being asked as a reflective point – clearly employers look at our online presence – there are numerous articles that express this.  As an educator I am always asking my students to make their thinking and their work visible to me.  How was I making myself visible to prospective employers?  If one employer googles an employee in the theoretical cyberwoods – does the employer find….

Teaching kids to manage their Digital Footprint really starts with the adults. Teachers can’t teach this effectively if they, themselves have not managed their own digital footprint. It is also important not to confuse managing a digital footprint with being hidden or private. Branding our identities has become more and more important in the digital age and if students and teachers aren’t actively managing their digital footprint, then who is? Managing your digital footprint starts with asking questions like: Who are you? What do you stand for? What are your passions and beliefs? The important lesson with managing your digital footprint is that everything we do online should represent who we are and what we stand for and we must have the knowledge that this representation will stick with us potentially forever.  – Lisa Nielsen The Innovative Educator

In the spirit of calculated online self exposure – I think this slideshare does an excellent job of reflecting on good practices for educators.

The slide share led me to actually do the tasks it outlines – these are the results…..
  1. Google Yourself – Results – Images (That’s me – the 17th photo – small size)… Matt McGrady – got much better results – 6th photo is mine!
  2.  Personal Brand – I am currently rocking the Glitched
    Personal Brand
    Personal Brand

    Self portrait – my hope is that it shows an artistic connection but still shows a clear image of my face.

  3. Choose a dominant channel – A lot of what I am posting these days is through twitter  just now realizing I should be using the same image from my personal brand for my twitter brand….baby steps…

    Twitter Handle
    Twitter Handle
  4. Tag Content Strategically – Current tags on my COETAIL site – art, PLN, #drawingprompt – These are what I am about – feeling good about this.
  5. Establish Credibility – working on it – Check in regularly
  6. Share Original Content – Evaluating Photo Apps for the Photography Student  – check it out!
  7. Customize Privacy Settings – Working on this – letting my aunt find me on Facebook.
  8. Post Resume Online – Ok – this one I am working on. I have seen others’ blogs which do a really nice job of this and to be dead honest I am not ready yet.  The resume is a constant work in progress..
  9. Consider Blogging – yep…considered and acted upon.
  10. Don’t forget to have fun – see top of this post.

6 thoughts on “Digital Footprints – Hello – Is It Me Your Looking For?

  1. I like how you term it “branding yourself.” I’m there with you. Finally getting around to creating our google site as a portfolio. I like the idea of tagging strategically. I’ll have to think about that…


  2. You had me at “Hello”…

    I think those 10 points are a great first step. It would be interesting to see how our students would respond to these points, particularly as they get closer to graduation.


  3. This is great Matt, thanks for sharing the slideshare and making me think of my school years and “Hello!” It really helps to put into perspective what we are trying to achieve and whether we are being good role models online for our students as I am sure they google us! I didn’t realise until this that my “branding” was important and that my “eye” is part of that. I just don’t like having my photo online! I have just been at an ADE camp this last weekend and we talked about personal branding, trying to capture who we are through images then into words – it was really powerful and got you thinking differently. But how we present ourselves professionally seems more important these days than the reasons I first joined Facebook – to connect with friends and family. Can we be both?


  4. Well as far a a digital footprint goes I found nearly nothing on me. Even when I googled myself. Good or bad I ask myself? As a educator and an individual that will be looking for future jobs I better start making a solid foot print and a positive one at that.


  5. Hi Matt

    Thank you for your blogpost.

    I think educators need to find an alternate word other than “branding” which belongs to profit-seeking industries. It would mean the same as “putting the best of ourselves forward” without making it look like we’ve become commodities that bend to market forces.

    Something for me to mull over…

    I definitely think we need to think about what Digital Footprints we are making as it’s going to happen, even if we aren’t trying. In an increasingly technology-driven world, having no footprint isn’t going to impress employers as they’ll be wanting people in touch with tech.



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