After reading an article on Gisborne Girls' High School armed robbery amongst it's students, and also a recent 'fight club' at Gisborne Boys High; I wondered initially if those students had any idea of the reputation they are creating for themselves. I am sure those girls and unfortunately their families too by default, already will have a 'bad reputation' through this incident. Yet reputation can also affect schools and communities, I would imagine that parents researching schools online will think twice about sending their child there if they have the option of a school with a better reputation for safety.
Now I am not judging them, but an article in Netguide's November 2008 edition, pointed me to the site of Hannah Samuel - The Reputation Champion. She very rightly points out that individuals and companies are now subject to online searches that highlight everything good and bad about them. Reputations are being created by every piece of information that finds it way onto the web. The moral of the story is that we need to be aware of everything we post, especially in this web 2.0 world. Hannah offers a reputation quiz that could be a good way to start this discussion with your students, along with 10 smart thing to teach your children about looking after their reputation. Remember, remember, your mistakes never disappear from the Internet, you will live with them forever!
Have you every done a search on yourself or your school, what is your reputation?
In a recent blog from Free Technology For Teachers, they pointed out a documentary online that explores teenagers web lives and the digital footprints they leave. This is primarily aimed at teenagers but a must view for all parents and teachers. It really highlights some consequences of these footprints or 'reputation' online that can never be erased.