The transparency that comes with a journey into the online world must be managed with the importance of a life or death situation. This seems like a harsh statement, but many of us have a limited understanding of our digital footprint. Some of this lack of understanding comes from our own naivety, but it also comes from our lack of education and understanding of what is actually happening in the online world.
This lack of understanding is not only limited to our students, but also pertains to the adults as well. I don’t mean to be critical to any individual, but only to highlight the learning we must also commit to take on together to be sure that the “brand” of our school is positive. For example, if you review the Twitter feed of a student, a parent, a teacher and an administrator of the same school you would find various topics within each feed that reflect the likes, dislikes and thoughts of each person. Look deeper. Since there is a high probability that many of these individuals are following or are followed by one another, what do the feeds suddenly reflect about the school? The culture? This web of connections will tell a story. What would you want it to be?
As school leaders, we must make it a priority to have these discussions and to educate our students, teachers and parents of the impact of everything they put online. After all, our interactions online come together as the brand of our school because this brand is derived from the contribution of each of our personal footprints, whether we are school employees or not. Whether we mean to or not.