What’s a Digital Footprint and why would you want one? Presentation for Leading a Digital School conference.

I delivered ‘What is a Digital Footprint and why would you want one?’ at the Leading a Digital School Conference here in Melbourne last week. You’ll have to follow the link to my wikispaces page to view it as the code from Sliderocket is not supported in WordPress. It was very well received, even though I’d been frantically putting the slides together the night before! I’ve written this as a paper for Synergy, the online journal published by the School Library Association of Victoria. It will be published sometime in October. You’ll have a little trouble following a couple of the slides without the benefit of listening to what I was talking about, but hopefully you’ll get a sense of what I think is an important message that our teachers need to hear. 

What was encouraging about this conference was the feeling I had that more people are open to the idea of infusing new ideas into their classroom practice. Martin Levins has done a good job of dissecting keynote speakers’ presentations so I’d encourage you to visit his blog and take a read. The conference ning has a presentation resources tab where you can find some of what went on. Garry Putland’s slides are worth a look, and even though Michael Hough’s slides were text heavy, a lot of what he had to say was very pertinent. Teacher Librarians should rejoice; he spoke glowingly of the worth of our skill set in our schools today.

Thanks to the conference organisers for putting on a great conference. Another great part of the conference was getting to meet Leanne Windsor, a Librarian who has returned to Australia from Japan recently, and who I follow on Twitter. We had a fun time laughing our way through the conference!

7 Replies to “What’s a Digital Footprint and why would you want one? Presentation for Leading a Digital School conference.”

  1. Thanks, Jenny. Wish I had gone, but now I’m reading Martin Levins’ blog. Love his little ‘asides’. Your leads will make me happy for a couple of hours.

  2. Hi Jenny

    My view is that qualifications are a historical document. At some point you were motivated enough to complete a course and were given a reward. The footprint for teacher educators is now as critical as the showreel for directors or the portfolio for graphic designers or photographers.

    We can of course deny or ignore this, the only ‘thing’ between today and tomorrow is our dear friends in human resources. I heard that in NSW, there are over 80 applicants for every public school job. So if schools are to access the promised money for ‘performance’ then they will be increasingly motivated to hire, not just good teachers, but great communicators – who have a reputation that is earned line by line in their digital footprint.

    I believe (and indeed would ask) for any applicant for a position to show me a portfolio – show me where you went wrong, where your went well – and who you are connecting with. I don’t believe those who are not visible and active will find movement between jobs as simple as it might have once been.

    Those with a digital ‘life’ bring new affordances; new ideas and a great deal of personal infrastructure. It is also true that because it is personal, not institutional, that the employer may well learn to better value what they have.

    Reputation is the x-factor that increasingly differentiates. Paper qualifications stopped doing that a while ago IMO.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree Dean. I’m just wondering if it’s going to be possible to submit my next job application with two words, ‘Google me’. The time invested in creating a footprint that enables you to do that, should afford you the luxury of not having to knock yourself out putting the job application together!!

  3. Please remember that you can buy these from China, and friends who ‘went to your school’ all for a few dollars. A Digital Footprint or reputation can be forged as easily as a CV.

    I heard from BAML this am that they want honest people with real lives. Idealised footprints and managed profiles are as much a turn off.

    Be honest, transparent and careful

    1. Good point. You would hope that employers would be savvy and would take the time to look at one’s digital footprint closely to determine a manufactured past.

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