Teacher-Created Lesson Plan

Your Digital Footprint and It's Future

A technology enriched "Trillion Dollar Footprint" from Scope & Sequence
Rochelle G.
Technology coordinator
Reedy Creek Middle School
Cary, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will know how their Digital Footprint grows and that it can effect their future positively or negatively.

  • Websites often collect information from their visitors and share that information with 3rd parties like advertisers
  • Information shared by you, your friends, and your family can be copied, used for unintended purposes, searched, and can be persistent
  • Protecting your reputation and those of others is a responsibility of a good Digital Citizen
Social Studies
Grades 6 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Your Personal Web

What do you do online - Where do you go?


Slide 1

(Create a PowerPoint and included this image large on slide 1 to get students thinking about the sites they visit and where they post.)

Ask the students if their “WEB” would be as busy as the map on the screen?  Wait for feedback and contribute some sites that you use or visit.


2 You Have a Digital Footprint

Do You Have a Digital Footprint?

What is it?

How did you get it ?

When did you get it?

Where is it? Can You see it?

Slide 2

(Groups will be used through out this activity. Start your groups and give them their first handout - the video questions.)

After the film discussion, say: The film asks you to consider how this information effects you now that you are aware of your digital footprint.  So, let’s look at an example and what effect it can have.


Student Instructions

Do you have a Digital Footprint?

While you watch this video consider that we just talked about all the places you visit on the internet.

Now this film brings up some interesting behind the scenes information for you to consider.

When you go online you leave a trail behind you, a mark, or series of marks called  your __________________. 

What do you on the internet can be seen by ____________________. 

And, somethings you do can be found when people __________________ for it.

They can reuse things like your  (examples) _____________________  because it can be _______________

And sent to _________________

For how long_______________


3 Inviting Students for a Role Play - Hiring Linda or Jason as Game Show Host

Activity: Presenting

Does Your footprint matter?

You are invited to investigate this question!

Please participate in examining the applications of two people competing for a job as a Game Show Host.


Slide 3

4 Explaining Role Play and Handing Out Resources

Activity: Other — Handing out profiles to groups

Chose a Game Show TV Host

Each group of 4 students will get 2 Linda Profiles and 2 Jason Profiles plus one copy of  a feedback form to complete together

These materials are part of the Trillion Dollar Footprint Scope and Sequence Lesson for grades 6-8.

Present slide 4 from the student instructions in your PowerPoint.

Be prepared to defend your choice!

Student Instructions

The Goal:  Pick a host for the popular show: “Trillion Dollar Footprint.”

This show tours the country looking for teens to compete in a talent show.

You: Are being hired to be the  producers for the show.  Work in small producer groups to look over the applications.

Your Task:
• Look over the online information of the two host applicants, Linda and Jason.
•Use the “Choose a Host Student Handout” to make notes.
•Decide which applicant should be the host of the show based on who works better with others and who is more honest.

Your Choice:

Give a convincing pitch to the class about which candidate you choose and why.

Slide 4 to display to students

5 Decision Time

Who will you hire? Groups Present your decision.

Do you think the show’s host should be Linda or Jason? Why?

Do you think the candidate will be honest?

Do you think the candidate will work well with others?

Slide 5

(Link to shared Google Sheet to put in votes.  You can compare class to class on the sheet or group to group - can be used to create a visualization later. Feedback  on the form can include other teachers participating in this activity so you can see a class to class comparison. Add a total at the bottom of the voting columns)

Game Show Host Voting
Group Linda









Student Instructions

Present choice by group with explanation.

6 Concerns About Applicant's Internet Activity

Activity: Debating

Digging Deeper in Decision Making

What did you think about the comment under Linda’s Instapic?

Did it change your opinion of her?


What was your impression of Jason after you found out that he lied about singing in a band, his relationship status, and where he was born?

Slide 6

7 The Executive's Decision

Activity: Presenting

And the job goes to....

Neither Jason nor Linda got the host position!!!!!

The executive producer had too many concerns about both regarding their ability to work well with others and be honest. They are going to keep looking for other candidates.

Slide 7

(students to examine what assumptions they made about each candidate)

8 Are Online Footprints Fair

Activity: Debating

Do you think it was unfair to consider Linda’s and John’s digital footprint?

Who helped to shape Linda’s and Jason’s digital footprints?

Can you tell what a person is really like offline based on what you find online?

What are some other types of information that make up your digital footprint?

Slide 8

9 A Look Behind the Scenes

We are going to watch a 6 minute TedTalk by Gary Kovacs about how part of a digital footprint is built.

This video takes us back to our beginning - who sees us on the internet and how some information about us is gathered?

And and it opens us up to considering how much we want online and how to protect our privacy.

Slide 9

10 Using Lightbeam or Disconnet.Me To See Our Internet Traces

Are you in Control?

LIGHTBEAM:  A Fireox Extension Only. At Mozilla, we believe that everyone should be in control of their user data and privacy controls and we want to help you make informed decisions about your Web experience. With this in mind, we've developed Lightbeam, an add-on for Firefox that will help users visualize the array of companies they're interacting with every day on the Web.


Today, there are thousands of companies that track people’s online activity and capture their personal information. But there’s a huge disconnect between how people’s data is being used, sold, or shared, and what they actually may want. Disconnect is founded on a basic principle: that people should have the freedom to move about the Internet - and their lives - without anyone else looking over their shoulder.

Slide 10

Prepare ahead of time to do a demonstration of the tracking abilities of either of these two mechanisms.  On Lightbeam you can clear the screen and ask students to suggest sites and watch the tracking points grow and grow. You can also do this in a less dramatic way with Disconnect. Disconnect will also allow you to block tracking so it has two purposes.

11 Let's Make a Group Picture of our Digital Footprint

Where do we go most?

We can make a WORD CLOUD to show where we go the most and the least.

In your groups write sites on your footprint worksheet. It is fine to write a site more than once if more than one of you visit that site.  The more times the site is listed the bigger and bolder it will be on Word Cloud. Then one of your group will submit the list to go into the group Word Cloud. 

Slide 11

There is a size slider bar.  If the bar is too far to the right – your word list might not appear.  Start with it in the negatives.

Save your WORDCLOUDS as a PDF and post it or print it. Compare classes.  

12 Concluding Thoughts

Activity: Conversing

Concluding thoughts.

How can today's information make you a better Digital Citizen?

In your groups use the post-it notes to write down one idea per note and place them on the whiteboard.

Slide 12

As an addition: The teacher reads the notes, she can categorize them into some few groups as she similarities