Have you Googled your Child’s Name?

GoogleNot many know that as well as teaching Literature I also dabble in teaching Year 7 Multimedia. One lesson I teach is a Digital Reputation class.  I start by ‘googling’ my own name and showing the class what is on the internet about me.  We talk about how they are at the very crest of the wave about to create their own internet presence and how important that digital reputation will be to their future.

I then asked the students to ‘google’ their own name and look at the internet and image search results. These are children of about 12 years of age.   The results were interesting. Some children were shocked to find that their images on Google images.  They thought some may have come from their parents’ Facebook accounts, their sister’s instagram account and some from their primary school newsletter.  They did not know if the photographer had turned off ‘geotagging’ so were probably easily traceable to their street address. This was scary!  A lesson for parents too.

Existing on ‘social media’  is a necessity as many companies treat those who don’t as suspicious these days!  Being aware of the value of a good digital reputation is essential for this age group now, as it is often in their teens and early 20s that it is most at risk. Ironically it is also when it is most likely to benefit them.

During this time they may apply for a part time job, a University scholarship, a Gap Year project or a rental lease.  Perhaps their grandmother might join Facebook, or they may fall in love.  Ensuring that they maintain the integrity of their reputation in the digital world is something they can use to their benefit and the earlier they are aware of this the better.

So I finish the lesson with asking them to talk to their parents about the photos they have found and to make it a life long task to ‘Google’ their own name on the 1st of every month.

Perhaps parents could do this too with their children – it’s good role modeling!

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About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
This entry was posted in Cyber Safety, cybersafety, Digital Citizenship, Digital Reputation, Facebook, Google, Parental Controls, Parents, Social Media, Social Networking, Teens, Tweens and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Have you Googled your Child’s Name?

  1. Pingback: Have you Googled your Child's Name? - Living in...

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