Julie A. Cunningham

Academic Advisor

Digital Launch Pads for Students


Creative Commons License photo credit: Undertow851

I am struggling with the order of introducing new technology platforms to the high school students this fall.  Which comes first? Edmodo? (Yes, because it will facilitate the others.) What about everything else? Google Apps? NoodleTools? Pintrest? Diigo? Twitter?

So, I did what anyone would do…. I Googled my students. Refined searches. And guess what?  Next to nothing.

Either I have some amazingly privacy savvy high schoolers or I have a group of students who have been very digitally sheltered. Or Google is hiding things from me again. I have a few 100+ year old students, one living in Never Land, several with funny names… most were trying to ‘cover themselves’, but didn’t realize their real name was still associated with those things online.

Surprisingly, most of them do not have a negative web presence. This semester, we start building their positive ‘brand’ online… the one they want their connections, future colleges, and employers of choice to view.

At Reform Symposium last weekend, Alec Couros @courosa shared a site called About.Me that allows you to build a ‘personal profile page that points to your content from around the web.’ ((http://about.me))  In a few weeks, we begin there- after some initial work on digital footprint. ((Story to follow… waiting to see how my ideas play out first!)) Purposefully building a digital launch pad that increases their footprint and that can point to their other online content. I am hopeful that this connectedness will help them catch a vison for their future… whether they are headed for the stars or staying more earth-bound with the rest of us.

As for me, my launchpad is done. ((I even ordered the business cards they offered from Moo.com.  I’ll let you know what I think of those in a few weeks.))

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