I had an opportunity to take some photographs at the beach this week in California. In thinking digitally, these images seem to ask: What does your digital footprint look like?

Footprints in the sand

Footprints in the sand

Footprint in the sand

A dog's footprint

Footprint in the sand

You talking with media yet? How about your students?

The best way to proactively take charge of your digital footprint is to publish “claimed” content online.

Plant your flag in the sand and claim it.

photo © 2010 Max Klingensmith | more info (via: Wylio)

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8 Responses to Plant Your Flag in the Sand and Claim It

  1. teach for life says:

    Love the analogy…. Do you mean have a blog? Use your real name? Build a website? Decide a direction? I’m very interested in this thesis… are you going to write more?

  2. Wes,

    I like this… I spent some time thinking about my blog, and reading other people’s blogs, and realized I was contributing less and less to the larger conversation. And it made my digital footprint smaller, and less claim-worthy. I might have been reflecting on the conversation, or discussing it, but not really participating, and certainly not creating.

    So I started my YouTube channel and started making videos about writing help, and content videos. That content is more clearly branding me and developing my digital footprint than anything else I’ve ever done online. And it happened about five times as fast as developing my blog audience. It’s weird, or at least I thought it was.

    Then I was reminded: a colleague of mine pointed out that we have a generation of kids right now who grew up on television and movies. They’re much more used to receiving information visually than getting it via the written word. I can talk out one of the video lessons and I get interrupted all the time…. but if I show one of these five-minute videos, I get complete silence during the video, and MUCH better questions afterward.

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    teach for life: Good questions. Yes: I think professional educators should have an online web presence, which can include a blog (but doesn’t have to.) A wiki works well as an online learning portal too. They can serve different functions. It’s important to try different tools to learn how they work and to what purposes they are best suited. I’m putting these ideas together in a book I’m calling: Talk with Media – Simple Ideas for Powerful Sharing. I’ll have this finished by the ISTE conference this summer. Some of my ideas on this are on the site:

    Also I have been sharing a session titled, “Share Your Ideas: Platforms for Publishing” for several months now. An archived Elluminate session which I presented in November for the Global Education Conference is available, along with other session links on:

  4. Wesley Fryer says:

    Andrew: Great job creating your YouTube channel and publishing there… very interesting to hear your learning curve publishing video content has been faster than it was for textual publishing. With 88 videos in your channel you have been busy! 🙂

    Have you written a post reflecting on what you’ve learned doing this? If not would you be interesting in sharing a guest blog post here about it? I’d love to learn more about your learning journey creating this video channel and I’m sure others would too. It also would be good to learn some of your technical advice– what do you use to record your videos, what’s seemed to work the best, what have you learned about tagging and how YouTube works, etc…

    I’ll send you an email with more info on the guest post idea. Thanks for your comment and sharing the link to your YouTube channel!

  5. teach for life says:

    I have some questions regarding video education. Obviously, it has its positives, but it has some very disquieting negatives. One negative is that a generation who grew up on TV, internet etc should have MORE access to participatory forms of education, not less. Do we engage our children in learning that stretches areas that are underdeveloped or do we collaborate with their weakened areas by avoiding teaching the skills that do not come readily through prior experience? Make people aware not alpha waved into submission.

    Conspiracy math alert! Gates philosophy: large class size + video delivery of state sanctioned curriculum + teachers without degrees + no tenure (submission through fear of reprisal) = corporate control over state + no vocabulary for dissent + no powerful democratic lobby (to do your dissenting for you) I am in favor of multimedia delivery but only as one tool in the tool box. Plutocracy is always one misstep away. Just saying…

  6. I think you ask great questions about the problem with state-sponsored curriculum, generally. For example, I’m getting to teach American history for the first time in decades, and because I don’t really have a serious stake in HOW it’s taught, I’m finding I can be a lot more ruthless in talking about some of our society’s failures as well as our successes.

    The more materials that are out there, the more opportunities that we make for students and for each other, the more difficult it is to impose one vision of the future, I think.

  7. Peidei says:

    I know higher institutions are asking their students to blog and see what is out there. Love your pictures of the beach.

  8. Hi Mr. Fryer,

    My name is Brandon M. Caten and I am a student at The University of South Alabama. I am currently enrolled in EDM310 with Dr. Strange.

    I, for sure, have started claiming my digital footprint just because of EDM310. We have blog assignments every week and the things that I have learned from those posts make me extremely anxious and excited to share with my future students!

    Thank you for such a wonderful blog! It is a great example of what I hope to be doing once I am in my classroom(s) of the future!

    My blog can be found at http://CatenBrandonEDM310.blogspot.com! Feel free to check it out and comment as I will be doing with your blog in the near future!

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