Tag Archives: digital footprint

Every breath you take

Adolescence hasn’t changed.  Young adolescents still recycle the same three questions all day long: Who am I? How do others view me? And where do I fit in?  I asked those questions and so did generations before me.  I was awkward as an adolescent.  Who wasn’t?  I made poor choices.  Who didn’t?  The only difference was I wasn’t answering these questions online.

Today’s adolescents have a difficult road to navigate.  Their frontal lobes haven’t developed any more quickly, but social media is recording their every move and decision.  It actually reminds me of one of my favorite songs from high school, “Every Breath You Take”.  (Make sure you listen to the song while you read this post.)

Who would have thought that a 1983 song would depict the future?  Just some of the lyrics: “Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you.  Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay, I’ll be watching you.  Every move you make, every vow you break, every smile you fake, every claim you stake, I’ll be watching you….”  

How can we help teenagers survive adolescence in a digital age?  How can we teach and not preach about the seriousness of their digital footprint/tattoo? How can we engage more students in this conversation?


They Need Us

I just finished up a great PD day with some amazing teachers through a Mark Twain Summer Grant.  We were focusing on Twitter and how a hashtag can help you narrow your search.  One of the teachers asked me to search #huckfinn. I had expected to find resources posted by teachers, but what we found were adolescents tweeting about their summer reading and it wasn’t very positive.

On my drive home, I was thinking about how sad their responses (and choice of twitter handles) had made me and how surprised I was to witness such negative online behavior when all I’ve ever experienced on Twitter has been so positive and rewarding.  It is a great reminder that our students need us.  No matter what age or subject you teach, it is our responsibility to be teaching and modeling digital citizenship.  We need to engage our students in this discussion – they need us!