Each and every one of us has our own unique identity, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that we also have our own digital presence online, typically referred to as our digital identity. Everything we do online acts as a piece of the jigsaw that is, simply, us. To come at it in a more technical angle, our digital identity is the collection of personal information that we store online. Everything, from our interactions with social media to our email addresses, usernames and passwords to our more sensitive information such as our credit card numbers and tax file numbers, makes up our digital identity. (“Techopedia Explains Digital Identity” n.d.)
(Fig. 1. Social Media. Softlooms it Solutions. 2017)
Just as we, as adults, have our own digital identities, so too do our children and students.
Children have an expectation that their education will be rich in digital learning. Indeed, it is not just children who desire digital learning, but their parents and future employers do too. (Howell J. 2013).
As children are becoming more digitally fluent, the risk of addiction, bullying, and unsafe practices increase; it is therefore our responsibility to monitor and teach safe practices. As Devishobha Ramanan illustrates in her article on the subject, there are many ways to help protect our children whilst using their digital identities.
(Fig. 2. Digital Security.)
The responsibility factor falls to us then, as we assist children navigating across the digital divide as not all children are born equal in our technology rich world. (Howell J. 2013). It is our duty to impart upon our students how to build and maintain safe digital identities and how to engage in the digital world in such a way as to enrich their lives and education. (Ramanan D. 2017). And if we become concerned, there are people who can help. The people at Binary Tattoo work to track our digital identities so we can see if we’re accidentally sharing too much information and how to shut it down if we are.
- Ramanan D. (2017) How to Help Your Child Build and Maintain a Positive Digital Identity. Retrieved from https://www.parent.com/how-to-help-your-child-build-and-maintain-a-positive-digital-identity/
- Techopedia Explains Digital Identity. Techopedia.com
Retrieved from https://techopedia.com/definition/23915/digital-identity
- Jennifer Howell. 2013. Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Oxford University Press.
- Binary Tattoo Retrieved from https://www.binarytattoo.com
- Digital Identity (Featured picture.) 2011. Retrieved from https://jdtsalford.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/thesevenlawswordle-27kzp5y1.png
- Social media picture (Fig. 1) Softloom it Solutions. 2017. Retrieved from https://softloom.com/tag/social-media/
- Digital Security picture (Fig. 2) Slide 11/12 “The Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship” (2009) Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/elie010/the-9-themes-of-digital-citizenship
- Internet Safety video (2013) Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrln8nyVBLU