Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Google Good To Know

I originally wrote this post three months ago. All that I wrote then is still true today. But today, Google announced that they have added more resources to Google Good To Know. The updates to Good To Know include information about 2-step verification (which I highly recommend using), information about Google+, and Adsense ad preferences (or why you see the ads you do on some websites and blogs like this one).

Have you ever wondered what Google and other websites do with the data they collect from visitors? Have you wondered how they collect data from users? Do you want to know the answer to these questions and others related to digital data collected from you? If so, check out Google Good to Know.

Google Good to Know explains how Google and other sites use the data that they collect from visitors. It also offers suggestions on how to manage your digital footprint. And for those who need reminders, the Stay Safe Online section of Good to Know offers some good advice even if it is very Google-heavy. The video from the Stay Safe Online section of Good to Know is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Managing digital footprints is something that we all should be teaching and reminding our students to do. Google Good to Know could be a good starting point for building your own lessons on managing digital footprints. After reviewing the Google materials you might ask students to create their own short videos like the one above, to inform others of simple things they can do to manage their digital data online.

Shout - Explore, Connect, Act

Shout is a global learning project coordinated by the Smithsonian, Microsoft Partners in Learning, and Taking IT Global. The purpose of Shout is to get students thinking about environmental science and to take local action on behalf of their environments. This year's Shout theme is "Water Matters." This year's events begin on January 19 with a live webinar prep session for teachers.

Shout provides live, interactive webinars with scientists and environment experts. The webinars are designed for student participation, but they are also recorded in case your class cannot virtually attend during the live broadcast. Shout also aims to help teachers connect their classrooms. Learn more about Shout in the video below.

Putting Federal Debt In Perspective

I know that this could be a hot-button topic for some readers, but I'm not looking to start any kind of political debate with this post. The following video came to my attention through Adam Baker at Man vs. Debt. The video takes the topic of debt ceilings at the federal level and puts it into the context of an individual citizen's budget.

Applications for Education
When students (and some adults) hear talk about budgets in the billions and trillions can be hard for them to wrap their minds around what a change in budget means. This video might help students see budgets and borrowing in a slightly different light.

Solid Advice for Creating Better Videos

We've all seen poorly lit videos (if you haven't, two seconds on YouTube will cure that), we've probably made some ourselves. Recently, through the Pro Communicator blog I discovered an excellent short video about improving the lighting and quality of the videos that you shoot. The video is embedded below.
Applications for Education
If your students are creating videos for a classroom project, have them watch the video above for some solid advice about lighting. As the video says, even with an inexpensive camera a great video can be shot if you have the right lighting.