Sunday, March 29, 2009

Online Privacy

An online dictionary defines privacy as “the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one's private life or affairs”
When you find spam email in your inbox, google your name to find information about yourself which you had no idea was out there, or realize that a social network owns your profile and pictures of your life; then the right to privacy online is a mockery. In reality, using and posting on the web is not about having privacy; it is about making the right choices and learning how to use this system. Evidently we all deserve the right to privacy online; realistically speaking it does not happen.
So what are our options? First, we have to continuously demand this right. For example, as consumers we cannot allow social networks such as facebook to use our lives to their best interest. Then, on the day to day, we need to continuously learn how to use the web efficiently and make proper decisions about what we want to be published for the world to see. Most importantly, parents and schools need to talk about the consequences of poor judgment of online use. So, we have a choice now: limit and control the use of the web or learn to use a tool which when used properly it could open many doors.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

They know who you are...

About Digital Footprints...

I googled my name…
I know in South America my name is somewhat common: Gabriela. I was amazed with all the different profiles that showed up: a journalist, endless facebook pages, an activist in Africa…and yes; I was there too.
As adults, it is opportune to think that our use of digital tools sets an example to our children. Think about it; what image does the world have of you? How can you responsibly use these tools and at the same time protect yourself?
As teachers; I believe digital tools should be present in our classrooms to enhance our curriculum. As a consequence, we have the duty to teach and show our students to be responsible users. Children have to understand the implications of having a digital footprint; they need to learn that their actions bring consequences. We need to help them know how to use these tools to boost their learning rather than deprive them from entering a college or getting a job.
Nevertheless, this is not the job of one teacher or one administrator or one parent. Learning about digital footprints; requires collaboration within a community. Students need to hear about it in school and home; they have to learn about it as they access the web.

Try it and find your digital footprint; google your name and see what’s out there.