Digital Footprints (20 minutes)
INVITE each group to report to the rest of the class what they learned about each of the animals, using the Animal Tracks Student Handout.
- Whose full name do you know? (Electra the Elephant)
- Whose house could you find? (Electra the Elephant)
- Whose birth date do you know? (Electra the Elephant)
- Whose user name and password do you know? (Electra the Elephant)
- Who let out a secret on the Internet? (Electra the Elephant)
- Which animal can you describe better from his or her photo? (Electra the Elephant)
DEFINE the Key Vocabulary terms digital footprint and permanent.
Who can the detectives find out more about, and why?
Electra, because we now know where Electra lives, what she looks like, and private and personal information about her life. Point out to students that having a bigger digital footprint means the detectives can learn more about them too.
Which animal has a bigger digital footprint?
Electra, because she put more private and personal information online than Mizzle.
Mizzle says some funny things about himself on the Internet. What are they?
He says he likes Swiss cheese, his photo is of cheese, and he has a pet flea.
Is there anything that Electra posted on the Internet that could become a problem for her? If so, what and why?
Private and personal information (e.g., address, full name) allows others to learn more about her. This could be unsafe. Saying that she fights with her brother could hurt her brother’s feelings because it is public.
CREATE a chart with students that summarizes which information is appropriate or inappropriate to put online.
- APPROPRIATE (Interests, hobbies, first name)
- INAPPROPRIATE (Address, full name, information that would hurt others)
DISCUSS how Mizzle and Electra both had very interesting information online, but Mizzle used better judgment about what was most appropriate to post. Mizzle had a smaller digital footprint. Electra put some information online that might make her unsafe or might upset her brother.
REMIND students that the Internet is a public space where people they do not know will likely see their information. And this information is very hard to remove. It is basically permanent.