Igniting the Passion and why Digital Tattoos

It was a great experience to share my thoughts about Digital Footprints and Digital Tattoos with almost 300 Surrey Educators on October 16, 2013. The session was live streamed through AliveStreaming.com –

I truly enjoyed the format of ignite. 20 slides, 15 seconds each on auto advance, total of 5 minutes. This forces a different mentality.

Limited Scope – The limit of 20 slides
Limited Text – You and audience don’t have time to read text on screen
Powerful images – must connect or extend the story
Spoken words – have to be succinct

I chose to speak on Digital Footprints and Digital Tattoos instead of IML which I am even more passionate about. I think the concept of Information and Media Literacy has a life of its own now. Connected to IML is digital citizenship and digital footprints are concepts that have been around for many years now.

It is time to switch the focus to how the internet affects us rather than how we impact the web. The web started as Read/Write to an elect few; It has become Read/Write for most. The next stage is to look beyond us being appropriate digital citizens to how digital citizenship changes us. I think the metaphor of a Digital Tattoo is instructive. We all have seen tattoos on other people. Most choose their tattoos; however, some wake up not knowing how it got there.

So far the idea is small. I don’t know how long it will be an effective metaphor, but I want to give it a good shot be available to move thinking past teaching everyone how to be a good citizen. We need to go deeper. Asking the questions – How does being a digital citizen change / impact / empower / enrich / harm / limit us, might provide that different lens. It could be the impetus to ensure that all teachers are digital citizens to understand the impact the internet has had on our lives personally and as professionals. After we understand ourselves, I think we will be better able to understand our students and how growing up in the current context is different / unique / challenging / exciting / and they have no option but to embrace it as it is their world.

Please join me in developing the concept of Digital Tattoos. I started the Wikipedia article on Information and Media Literacy. I would like to start the Wikipedia article on Digital Tattoos, but start in a sandbox before publishing widely. To this end, I have opened a Google Doc to start the concept and conversation


I encourage you to say yes if asked to do an Ignite session and to help develop the metaphor of Digital Tattoos.

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