Friday, September 10, 2010

Do You Google Yourself? Do Your Students?

This week every student at my school was issued a netbook. This is a great thing for my students and for me. Today, in my last class of the day one of my students blurted out, "hey did you know you're on Google?" I responded, "yes, if you Google me, my blog is the first thing you'll find." This got me wondering how many teachers, particularly young and fresh out of college teachers, know what happens when students or their parents Google his or her name. Do you know? You should.

Applications for Education
Call it vanity searching if you wish, but it is important to know what happens when someone Googles your name. This is true not only for teachers, but for anyone applying for a job or applying to college. This year my weekly advisory group is made up of juniors (11th grade students) who will be researching and applying to colleges in the spring and or following fall. One of the things that I plan to have all of them do is Google themselves. The students that have common names I'll have add a geographic location and other criteria to their searches to help narrow their results. We'll then talk about what to do if something less than flattering appears in their search results. Web is great for sharing, but we must teach our students how to share responsibly.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
A Thin Line - Digital Safety Education for Teens
Learn Internet Safety with Garfield
Google Family Safety Center - A Resource for Parents