There are nearly 400 students in my middle school and I’ve gone and created a student blog for every single one of them.  Some of the students blogged last year for the first time and, overall, they did a great job.  As I was browsing some of the work they put up on their blogs, I realized that there was a strong need for students to be educated about Online Profiles.  Thanks to some of Jeff Utecht’s and Julie Lindsay’s work, I’ve been able to pull together some of the best of the best messages you can send out to kids.  I didn’t preach – I just told them a story and I told it the way it is…


I started the 40 minute introductory presentation off with a simple question – who has a Facebook or MySpace account?  I was amazed that I had a few 6th graders that claimed they have had their Facebook account for three years which meant that they have been leaving their internet stamp since they were 9 years old.  We talked a lot about the Connected Web and I showed them the difference between a young blog and a blog that had been around for awhile using this Websites as Graphs applet.  The visual helped students begin to see that they truly cannot control where information goes via the web.

I asked the two questions of the students:  


  1. What do you want people to know?  
  2. What do you not want people to know?


 This framed our conversation around recent articles where people landed jobs because of who and what they knew through their online social network.  But we also talked about some of the negatives of an online profile.  The question came up:  Can teachers find out what we have our Facebook page?  I cited at least two instances where this is exactly what happened.  

Most students will set up their blogs next week and I want them thinking about the true meaning of Digital Citizenship and I want them to be fastidious about Creating their Online Profile.  They can’t control it, but they can form it and create it.  Digital Literacy is part of creating their online profile.  I asked my group of Third Culture Kids from each grade level if they know of Joe Biden.  Most did, but most did not know that he was accused of plagiarizing a speech in 1987 and that little piece of news was still following him today over 20 years later.  This was yet another reason students should form, shape and create their online profile today.  

I presented to the three grade levels at three different assemblies and I had them engaged the entire time…. they are thinking about it because all this week, students stop me in the halls and during lunch to talk about what is okay to put on the web and what is not okay.  Their awareness level has risen.  What a great start for the school year!  

My presentation is below in pdf because it’s a Keynote.  The movies didn’t come through as a pdf so they are linked here:  

1. Disney Copyright Law

2. Plagiarism: Don’t Do It

3. Cyberbulling – Ad Council

Online Profile Keynote  

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: online blogging)

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2 Comments to “Creating vs Controlling Student Online Profiles”

  1. Karen Bosch says:

    Thanks for this post – I bookmarked it to refer to later on in the year when I deal with cybersafety issues.

  2. […] Creating vs. Controlling Student Online Profiles Written by adecardy on September 14, 2008 – 1:22 am Cross posted on Some Tech Sense […]