The Power of a Digital Footprint

It’s estimated that the average adult makes 35,000 choices every day.

Each one carries varying consequences.

In Catholic schools, we teach the whole child, and we help prepare students for life and all that comes beyond our classrooms.

One area we are addressing more and more in many of our Archdiocese of Omaha schools is digital citizenship.

At Holy Cross Omaha, educator Kari Mansour teaches students, starting in fourth grade, about the various online platforms and how words and pictures online can be viewed as positive or negative.

With her students, she uses Common Sense Media curriculum and the website is one she recommends all parents use as a resource in conversation to set limits about social media, television, movie and other choices for their families.

Mrs. Mansour said, “I started off this school year by revisiting digital citizenship with our 6th, 7th and 8th graders, showing them ‘The Power of a Digital Footprint.’

Part of the lesson asked students to consider the following:

  • What is a digital footprint and what does YOURS say about you?

  • Are you online activities leading others to draw positive or negative conclusions about who you are?

“After discussing the definition of digital footprint, we did an activity that had the students taking on the role of CEOs, trying to hire someone to work for their start-up company.  Students worked in groups to analyze two applicants and read (fictional) social media posts from each applicant.  After reading the posts they had to find evidence of the applicant being honest and being able to work well with others.  After studying the evidence, the students found out that they really didn’t want to hire either applicant, based on the dishonest and irresponsible posts of each applicant.   By trying on the hat of a future employer, this allowed students to start thinking about how social media posts might help or hurt them in the future.”

She also worked with the middle school students at Holy Cross to create visual representation of what they want their digital footprints to say about them.

A valuable lesson if you ask us!

Mrs. Mansour has been teaching in Catholic schools since 2002. “I feel blessed to be working alongside other teachers and leaders that share in my same values.”

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Holy Cross is one of six schools that comprise the Omaha Catholic School Consortium. Visit the Holy Cross website to learn more, or check out our school finder to find a different school near you.