Steve Dotto produces and hosts the podcast Dotto Tech, a weekly discussion of all things technology related. Last week, he sat down with Trish Rosseel and Cindy Underhill, creators of the Digital Tattoo project, to discuss how everyone – students, professors and teachers, and others – can learn and benefit from the Digital Tattoo website. Steve Dotto perfectly sums up the project: “Everything that we do [on the Internet] is as indelibly linked to us as though we did a physical tattoo. And we should think about it along those lines.”
We all have different styles and comfort levels with online tools and applications. The purpose of the Digital Tattoo project is to raise awareness about the broader implications for how we use these tools. At the same time, it’s not about scaring people or offering black-and-white, right-or-wrong judgements. As Dotto points, this is an important distinction. The online tools themselves are value neutral – neither good, nor bad. It’s all in how we use them. “So bottom lines is,” he says, “the only people who can protect our privacy are ourselves.”
One group mentioned as having a particular interest in Digital Tattoo as of late are teachers and students training to be teachers. As Trish Rosseel points out, for those “who are going to be going out and working with students and are trying to navigate that online relationship between themselves and their students, [especially] when they are still themselves students” a discussion about our Digital Tattoo can be valuable. Dotto points out that in British Columbia, every level of education is having a similar conversation: How do we protect our teachers while recognizing that the online world is far too rich of a place not to be somehow engaged with students.
The complete show is available here, which also includes an interesting discussion of what happens to our digital identities after we die. To just listen to the interview with the Digital Tattoo creators, have a listen here. Do you agree with the discussion? Feel free to post comments and/or questions.