Digital Footprint & Reputation

  • Cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world (from the MITECS Digital Citizen Competency 2a).

Digital Footprint & ReputationLoudoun County Public Schools in Virginia once did a campaign using the metaphor of tattoos as akin to the digital footprint. Once applied, a tattoo is permanent. Therefore it’s important to carefully choose what gets inked on one’s skin. The only difference is that tattoos can be covered over or in some cases removed with lasers. Posting online is forever. The resources and references in this table support reflection and preparation for helping students navigate their own digital footprints and reputation. 

Digital Footprint & Reputation Overview and entry points into the toolkit.

Resources for New Learning Questions for Reflection Tasks for Skill Development


  1. Common Sense Media: Digital Footprint & Identity (Lessons) and Self Image. These documents provide a helpful guide to common language.
  2. Digital Footprint Video Playlist Here is a collection of videos for reflective conversations with students. CSM has more here.
  3. Modeling Constructive Online Behavior is an article that gives good insight into how teachers can model and show students good practice through various tools. Edutopia offers more resources.
  4. T.H.I.N.K. Posters
    This poster is a helpful guide to reflect on one’s actions and intentions when posting. CSM also has posters to use.
  5. 10 Things Your Students Should Know About Their Digital Footprints
    This article provides rich advice for the “Why” and “how” of Digital Footprints.


  1. “We Define Who We Are”
    How might this quote be worded for understanding and discussion by the age group that you teach? Use the Common Sense Media guide for assistance.
  2. In “Teen Voices: Oversharing and Your Digital Footprint” students discuss their practices and concerns. What were the 2 biggest concerns shared that relate to your students? How could you use this video to positively impact your students?
  3. The article gives advice about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and blogging. Describe which area did the author spark or shift your thinking?
  4. What are the potential uses for a mnemonics-based poster like T.H.I.N.K.  for getting students to “think” about their digital footprint?
  5. If the list was a priority ranking, what would be the top five ideas to teach students. Explain why.
  1. Explore the lesson options in Common Sense Media. Find one and adapt it for immediate use with your students by you and your team.
  2. Review the Video Playlist. Find two videos you could use with students. Find one not on the list that should be added, and share it on this form.
  3. Have teachers or students create a guide for the ethical use of a specific social media tool. Post in a social media space for other educators to access.
  4. Have students design their own mnemonics or meme for reminding and encouraging others to be mindful of their digital footprint. Post them with a creative commons license.
  5. Based on the resources in this section, list 2-3 new concerns with strategies to address them further.


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Digital Citizenship Toolkit Contact

Sue Schwartz
Executive Director