Parenting towards a positive digital footprint

George Couros in many of his keynotes and blog posts has talked about students leaving school and owning their own domain name.  Owning this digital land is the first step to learners owning their online story.  George is also a big advocate for digital portfolios and using your digital presence to showcase your skills and capacities.  The first time I ever heard George mention this, I was completely inspired to do this for my kids. I was very excited to get the .com domain for both my kids so now http://www.zarabrophy.com and http://www.quinnbrophy.com are parked domains ready and waiting for my kids.  I will continue to pay for this parked domain until they are able to work and pay the upkeep themselves.

Lately my super inquisitive (i.e. default position for a four year old) daughter has been asking about what Daddy does on the computer. I once made a throwaway comment that I was on the internet.  She has continually peppered me with questions about this ever since. What is in the internet?  Why do we have the internet?  Where is it?  How do I get there?  Not bad questions for a four year old.  Mulling over these exceptional questions and reflecting on a conversation I’d had with an anxious parent from school about being fearful of her child being online led me to decide to show my daughter was is in the internet now.

Zara has her own style.  She has dressed herself for as long as I can remember and is absolutely headstrong about how things need to look.  So we are in the process of choosing a Wix template for her first website.  She will most definitely have the final say on how it will look.  We will discuss what we will share, what we can share and as I helped her take her first footsteps in life, I will do the same in the digital landscape.  I can guarantee you that her page will have loads of colour.  It will probably be about fairies but hey that’s her choice.  I also want to spend time archiving the different versions of this website to capture the evolution and to capture the increase in size of her digital footprint.

Whenever I use technology with Zara, I always look for the collaborative and creative applications.  Using technology is one activity that we do together and it always about making or figuring something about.  When we have our first iteration ready, I’ll share it out and I hope you can join me as we share the digital walk together.  I also encourage more parents to do the same.  Helping your child have a voice to tell their own story is a tremendous gift you can give.

Thanks for reading.

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2 thoughts on “Parenting towards a positive digital footprint

  1. Steve, I’m really interested in your conversations with Zara and the thoughtful ideas you have about helping her to establish a considered digital presence. I’m hoping you plan to post regular updates about her choices, the guidance you provide and the diverse real life learning she gains along the way. Cheers, Christine

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