Stepping safely into Cyber space

Posted: April 2, 2014 in Course 2
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Digital Footprint and profile visual note by Nicki Hambleton

Digital Footprint and profile visual note by Nicki Hambleton

Digital Footprints and profiles

As I delve straight into Course 2,  I make a start by reading about  Digital Citizenship and the PSE programme on our school website. Every year in Middle School as the students begin their Life Skills classes they discuss the need to use technology appropriately and how to do this. As a 1:1 laptop school students learn about this early in the preparation for Middle School and their life with a laptop, and it is here that good lessons are learned and habits formed. Without this guidance would students know about their digital footprint, about cyber safety and the pitfalls of posting online?

photo with kind permission from Keri-Lee Beasley

photo with kind permission from Keri-Lee Beasley

Every year we find students as young as 9 years old who have Facebook accounts, despite the minimum age of 13 on the declaration. Robyn Trevaud urges parents to close down these accounts and open a family page and start the valuable discussions on digital safety and the reasons for waiting. As our school year draws nearer to a close, a focus group has been investigating appropriate platforms to work with and Teamie is our one of choices. In the new academic year most classes will be able to work on this safe, yet social network, looking not unlike a Facebook site, as a learning platform to connect and contribute alongside teachers and their peers.

UWCSEA uses the Generation Safe tools to guide and advise teachers and students as they enter more deeply into the online world. Robyn Treyvaud, an expert on cyber bullying and an online safety instructor, works closely with us advising our school. Robyn is the Director of Global Initiatives for and she talks about the pluses and minuses of students’ online activity. Tyler Joseph represents her sentiments at the What’s Your Story contest:

The 6 pillars of Digital Citizenship and Wellness at the centre of ikeepsafe’s philosophy stem from extensive research at Rochester Institute of Technology on Internet use. There is a Facebook page with an online quiz and a mobile app to connect with and help parents and families to guide and protect their children.

The BEaPRO™ acronym addresses what research and leading experts have identified as the known— rather than perceived— online risks for K-12 youth. Developed by iKeepSafe in 2012, the BEaPRO™ acronym represents the six pillars of success for online digital citizenship” (BEaPRO on

6 Pillars of DIgital Citizenship and Wellness


You can read the full Parent Safety Index report here.

Photo Credit: Stephan Geyer via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Stephan Geyer via Compfight cc

According to Mike Ribble on his website Digital Citizenship, using Technology Appropriately, following his dissertation on Digital Citizenship, there are 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship and it is through the concept of REPs (Respect, Educate and Protect) that these 9 themes can be discussed and taught. Mike says:

Each area encompasses three topics which should be taught beginning at the kindergarten level.  When teaching these ideas the top theme from each group would be taught as one REP.  For example the first REP would be: Etiquette, Communication and Rights/Responsibilities.  This would continue through REPs two and three.  By doing this all students will have covered the topics and everyone would understand the basic ideas of digital citizenship.”

Are people are more likely to say something online than they would face to face?

Think before you post

My digital footprint

By googling my name, I find that I feature low down the list as the search thinks I am Nicky-Hambleton Jones, the makeover queen and that I have spelt the search name wrong! Now flattered as I am that I should be mistaken for the blonde, slim guru of girly TV, it is only when adding @itsallaboutart that I show up on the first page.

Searching for Nicki Hambleton on Google

Searching for Nicki Hambleton on Google

I was much older than my students are now when Facebook launched in 2004 and then Twitter in 2006 and it is as educators that we owe it to our students to advise and guide them through our experience; in how to behave online as we would advise them on behaviour in the classroom and in the playground. The internet is their playground and students have to see the permanence of their actions, whether posting an image or adding a comment. So many examples have been highlighted of individuals commenting on Twitter or Facebook and finding that their words have come back to bite them. Yet with this comes the fear that we as a generation are losing our right to freedom of speech as Tom Whitehead of the Telegraph writes:

Figures released in December (2012) revealed crimes involving Facebook and Twitter have increased by 780 per cent in the last four years, with around 650 people charged in 2012 for offences on social media sites. Offences ranged from harassment, to stalking and grooming, as well as racial abuse, according to figures compiled by police forces.” and went on to write, “Ruling on appeal that the no one would have seen the tweet as a genuine threat, Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, went on to say: “The judges added: “We should perhaps add that for those who have the inclination to use Twitter for the purpose, Shakespeare can be quoted unbowdlerised, and with Edgar, at the end of King Lear, they are free to speak not what they ought to say, but what they feel.”

(Too many Twitter prosecutions could damage free speech, The Telegraph, April 2, 2014)

See yourself as others see you

So how do you appear to others?

What is the effect of years on the Internet to your reputation, impression or online profile?

If you read The Circle by Dave Eggers you might take heed to transparency.

As Ellen Ullman reviews in the NY Times:

“The company demands transparency in all things; two of its many slogans are SECRETS ARE LIES and PRIVACY IS THEFT. Anonymity is banished; everyone’s past is revealed; every­one’s present may be broadcast live in video and sound. Nothing recorded will ever be erased.”

Would people act and speak differently, behave better and more respectfully and would there be less crime if they knew they would be accountable as their actions were visible to all?

(Ring of Fire, New York Times, November 1, 2013)

Now there’s a debate just waiting to happen…….


  1. iqbal says:

    Hi Nicki,
    nice post i am a visual learner and your post suits me very much, i have been browsing about digital foot printing but believe me i have learnt a lot from your post and now even ready to write my own. i like your this video very much. Sure this Monday i am going to show this video to my class during homeroom.

    • Nicki Hambleton says:

      Thank you so much Iqbal. I just find that the visual notes help me to collate the information and retain it better. Adding in videos helps to illustrate a point so much better too. The line poem video is incredible and I think it cleverly gets the point across. Let me know when your post is up so I can read and comment on it. I’m on twitter as @itsallaboutart

  2. Joe Teft says:


    I was going to mention the Circle this week too…. Just found this and am now thinking about empowering and engaging now too.

    Personally I love the reputation part of the digital citizenship program you mentioned. Often we think of privacy but we can build a positive reputation, instead of being controlled by fear.

    As always great art!

  3. Clint says:

    Hi Nicki,

    I really appreciate how you’ve framed digital citizenship from a positive, empowering perspective rather than that of fear. I think that sort of shift is needed to make digital citizenship education integral and sustainable within our current curricula.

    And a great shot by KLB of the littles!

  4. Andrea Norman says:

    Hi Nicki,

    I got several things out of your post I am interested in using. I love the “What’s Your Story ” video and I have added “BEaPRO” to Diigo for use later. I am working with several people at school and out of school to come up with an upper school AUP. but I don’t want to stop there. I am also trying to design a set of advisory lessons for our students. Thanks for a helpful posting.

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