I am reading through Digital Leadership by Eric Sheninger and just finished the chapter on creating your brand. The concept is pretty simple: when people search the Internet what do you want them to see? Using your school’s website and social media, you can flood the Internet with positive images and stories about your school, keeping a high impression of the school in the public eye.
In my classroom, we use the hashtag #chemisawesome for everything that we do. Pictures/videos of demos, labs, good grades, all appear on this hashtag. This is my brand. These positive images are what I want students, parents, community members, random strangers, colleagues, hobos living under a bridge, President Obama to see when they search Google for my classroom.
When we teach students about their digital footprint, we focus fare too much on the bad things that could happen to them. Instead, we need to constantly model how social media SHOULD be used. Every classroom should have a blog/website/Instagram/Twitter account. We should be forcing students to use those computers they call cell phones to document the amazing things they do every day and share it with the world. Think of how easy it would be for colleges in the decision making process when they search for an incoming freshmen and they find hundreds of pictures of them performing community service, winning awards, participating in extracurricular activities, and what they are learning in their classes. Forget the 650 word essays about who you would be having lunch with. Soon the application will say please insert the link to your blog or Instagram feed that shows how you are having a positive impact on the world.
So my question is: when I Google you, which version of you am I going to find?