It's Time for the Digital Tattoo

Published On: April 22nd, 2016·By ·

Forget the digital footprint. Make a digital tattoo instead.

It's time to stop making digital footprints and make a digital tattoo instead. Don't know what a digital tattoo is? Neither did I until I found the definition on Twitter. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.

In order to understand a digital tattoo, you have to understand a digital footprint. Whatever impressions you leave in a digital space is your digital footprint, or is it? Tamra Dollar posted an interesting infographic from Slyvia Duckworth on her Twitter recently. The infographic compares and contrasts a digital footprint and tattoo, an idea Duckworth got from Lee Araoz. According to the infographic, a digital footprint is temporary, sometimes unintentional, and passively created. A digital tattoo, however, is permanent, proactive, and can serve as a source of pride. You can see that image below.

digital tattoo

Using these terms helps students differentiate between positive and negative digital citizenship. By providing these labels, you can guide your kids to create meaningful digital content rather than the bare minimum required. These terms are also a great way to think about yuor classroom assignments. Are you asking your students to make footprints or tattoos?

What do you think of these terms? In your own words, what do you think a digital footprint and tattoo are?

Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to

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