Post No Photos, Leave No Trace: Children's Digital Footprint Management Strategies

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  • Source:
    E-Learning and Digital Media, v14 n5 p275-290 Sep 2017.
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  • Publication Type:
    Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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    • Abstract:
      Given that today's children are prolific users of the internet, concern has been raised about the future impact of the digital footprints they are currently generating. Here, we report on the "Best Footprint Forward" project which utilised focus groups to investigate the digital footprint awareness of 33 children (ranging in age from 10 to 12 years old) from three primary schools in regional Australia. The children were very aware of their digital footprints and cyber safety but had little awareness of the positive potential of digital footprints. Instead, they exercised their agency through the use of strategies to minimise their digital footprint. We offer an alternative perspective to the dominant discourse that insists that a digital footprint is primarily a liability and seek to counter the positioning of children as naïve, passive consumers of digital culture. We conclude that 10-12 years old is an appropriate age to begin to educate for positive digital footprint curation as this would build on children's demonstrated knowledge of cyber safety and supplement their existing digital footprint management strategies with beneficial alternatives.
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      As Provided
    • Education Level:
      Elementary Education
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