01/31/2011 09:46 pm ET Updated 5 days ago

Protecting Reputations Online: A Lesson to Share and Then Create

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of social media. And I've certainly made my own faux pas in the online world, but I'm always surprised when I see a perfectly intelligent person who has posted something that may clearly come back to bite them. Whether it be an inappropriate comment or a photo or a link to a hate group, I'm not sure people truly understand that what they post online is there in perpetuity -- even if they take it down.

Education needs to begin early and should be ongoing. As with all schooling, it can't be boring and preachy. It needs to be engaging, quick and most of all DIFFERENT! Take this video from Common Craft:

What if all middle and high school students had to watch this and then form groups of three or four and create their own similar video (or just stage it) to share their own story of caution for younger students?

Although my fourth-grade students didn't create videos of taking care of reputations online, they did use this method to create science videos. Take a peek to see how it can easily be done (well, not nearly as well as Common Craft's Lee and Sachi LeFever) but my students will never forget the concepts or the experience.

What are your thoughts?