Lesson: News 4: Students' own Web footprints

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One benefit of knowing how to background someone else is that it becomes easier to conduct research on oneself.  What footprints are students leaving around the Web as they move through their digital lives?  How can they better manage that presence to protect themselves? 


  • Increase student understanding of the permanence of the Web and the importance of managing their Web presence wisely.
  • Practice Web newly learned search skills.



  1. Appendix 3:  “Damaging footprints” — Articles on how high schools, colleges and employers search the Web, including social media, for information about current and prospective students and employees, and the self-inflicted damage one can cause by allowing the posting of inappropriate material.
  2. Appendix 5 from the "Web Search, Copyright, Credibility & Bias" Module): "Linkography"
  3. Appendix 11:  Topic/Source Exploration



  1. Ask students what they have heard about students getting in trouble for things people discover about them on the Web.
  2. Have students read the articles in Appendix 3: Damaging Footprints to sensitize them to the kinds of online behaviors that can become problematic for students, college applicants and job applicants.
  3. Ask students to conduct a background study — the same kind they did for their press conferee — on themselves (or a family member) using Appendix 11:  Topic/Source Exploration.  Refresh their idea of what you’re expecting by reviewing Appendix 5 from the "Web Search, Copyright, Credibility & Bias" Module): "Linkography".
  4. Share out the results with small groups and then the large group and reflect. Were there any surprises?  What changes will students make in the future about their behavior on the Web?





Steps 2 and 3 above could be assigned as homework, depending on teacher preference.

Assessment Questions:

  1. What did students find out about their Web presence that they didn’t already know?
  2. What changes will students make in the future about their behavior on the Web?


Connections to Standards:

Teacher Notes:


Time needed to teach:

1 Session


Web search
Web Tools
Reading Activity


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