This may be hard to believe, but trust me, it’s true.
While reading a story about a superintendent in a neighboring school district, I followed the link in the story to the district’s high school’s web site. A recent interest of mine is school and teacher site design because I think we underestimate the impression our sites make on parents and the community. I was impressed with the district’s site. Dead-easy navigation, tons of pertinent information right up front, and colorful and well-organized to boot. It was obvious that this was one of those popular corporate packages bought by schools to solve new responsibility of web site design. But the teacher pages within these sites are usually just shells, open space for the teachers to design and present their own content.
So I was flipping through the teacher pages when it hit me. Sitting in that familiar little yellow voice balloon, a Diigo comment was hanging on a teacher’s page. Clicking it open, I was shocked to discover it was my comment, made about ten months ago. I left a Diigo “sticky note” on this page almost ten months ago, and remember nothing about it. Rather then contemplate the diagnosis this implies for my quickly aging brain, I was more impressed by the pure serendipity of coming across the note. What are the odds that I would come across this particular teacher’s page on this particular site again by just trolling?
It took a moment or two for me to recreate the fact sequence of last year, reviewing different school’s web sites to share with our Tech Committee as we were shopping for a web site package ourselves. This particular teacher had an image of a nativity crèche on her site and the little Social Studies teacher in the back of my brain shouted “lesson plan”! Is there a legal difference between a crèche in front of a public school and one on a teacher’s page in a schools web site?
Interesting stuff and thorny issue – but that’s not the point. How many breadcrumbs have we left on the web? What’s the chance we’ll stumble across them later? What sort of digital flotsam and personal info jetsam are scattered out there?