Lesson 1: Understanding Digital Footprint – Dusting for Fingerprints

Description / Objective: Understanding digital footprint

Connection:   – Using the dusting for fingerprints activity, students will make connections that even though a fingerprint is invisible to the naked eye, it can still be traced.

  • That fingerprints are unique to each individual as is a digital footprint

Vocabulary: Digital Footprint

Definition: A Digital footprint is a trail of data that is left behind in the digital world. I.e. Emails, websites visited, information you write, Blogs, social media (twitter, Instagram, facebook), pictures you post, etc… Such digital trails can remain online forever even if you delete a message, a picture, etc….

Intro: Your Digital Footprint: Leaving a Mark – Student Video on Vimeo

Materials: Hand Lotion, Baby powder (cornstarch or cocoa powder), Scotch tape or packing tape, Small Brush (make up brush or paint brush), black construction paper.

Activity: Dusting for fingerprints

  • http://www.connectionsacademy.com/resources/instructographics/fingerprinting.aspx
    • Rub a very small amount of hand lotion on your hands.
    • Find a small surface area, press your fingers to the surface, leaving behind your prints.
    • Sprinkle a small amount of powder onto the surface that you touched.
    • Using a brush gently brush away any excess powder, being careful to leave the exposed fingerprints intact.
    • Place a piece of scotch tape on top of the powdery print, then lift the tape (the fingerprint should have stuck to it. Place the scotch tape onto a piece of black construction paper to see it more clearly.

Closure: Even though fingerprints are invisible, just like a digital footprint, they can still be tracked.

Extension: In small groups, brainstorm internet websites that you have visited. Sample sites can be any gaming website, youtube, google, etc… Post them on a footprint template.




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