[cross=posted, slightly modified, from Connected Principals]

While interviewing a teaching candidate a few weeks ago, I asked her about her own digital citizenship and the ways she uses Web 2.0 tools to create, collaborate, and communicate online; her answer was swift and firm:

“Oh no, I would never do that; I know that it is dangerous and deeply problematic to ever put information about yourself on line because it will come back to haunt you.  In our family we know we must guard our privacy and protect ourselves from anything that could hurt our reputation. ”  We didn’t hire this candidate.

Let’s view digital footprints not as  frightening dangers to avoid, but as fruitful opportunities to cultivate for ourselves and especially for our students; let’s seek to support them in creating digital portfolios and wonderfully positive images of themselves online.

TEDx youth programs are a magnificent vehicle for this endeavor, and are readily available for schools and associations to participate in.

I am extremely proud of my regional association of schools (Independent school Association of the Southwest) for the work of  our technology directors in launching a TEDxYouth day for our member-schools, in which dozens of our students prepared and presented their own TED style talks.  The video above is a promotional video for our association’s program: it is blended with the promotional video for student TEDx programs broadly, and you can find and share the universal TEDxYouth video here.

I am really delighted with the program: can you think of  a better way to support students in the development of their oral and digital video communication skills, to provide them opportunities to share and advocate their visions and passions, to connect them with a vibrant global network, and to enhance their digital footprints?

Last week I enjoyed seeing Jason Kern, Technology Director at Oakridge School (TX), do an excellent presentation on the ISAS TEDx program, and Jason welcomed me to embed his slides (after the jump).   ISAS  tech directors have also built out a fine blog-site resource collecting many of last year’s TEDx student talks and student reflections about their TEDx experience, and have a wiki-site with details about how they have organized the event, which takes place across the breadth of our regional association with host sites in four or five states.  (Note: the ISAS event and wiki is for ISAS schools only, but I am sharing them as templates and inspiration for others to draw upon to launch or advance their own TEDx events.)

I am sure other schools and associations are doing TEDx student events also; I don’t mean to suggest ISAS is alone, just that it is has done a fine job advancing our TEDx concept.  Please use the comment box if you wish to share other resources and examples.

In closing, let me share one fine example of a TEDx talk by ISAS students last November.