Showing posts with label Digital Footprints. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Digital Footprints. Show all posts

Friday, January 4, 2019

How to and Why You Should Create Google Alerts

Yesterday morning someone on Twitter asked me about creating Google Alerts. The question came in response to my post about copyright and plagiarism. In one of the videos in that post I mentioned using Google Alerts to find places where my work turns up without my permission.

What Are Google Alerts?
Google Alerts is a free Google product that notifies you when a new mention of term or phrase that you specify appears on the web. You can set many alerts. For example, I have about a dozen alerts set for various iterations of Free Technology for Teachers.

Why You Should Create Google Alerts
I have Google Alerts set for two reasons. First, I use alerts to find splogs (spam blogs) that republish my work without permission. Second, I use Google Alerts to see where my name pops-up around the web. Setting Google Alerts for your name and or your name plus words that might be associated with you is a good way to monitor your digital footprint and digital reputation.

How to Create Google Alerts
In the following video I demonstrate how to create Google Alerts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

New Common Craft Video - Digital Footprints Explained

As adults we know that everything we do online is a part of our digital footprints. Even those things that you post on your "private" Facebook or Instagram account are public because they're just a screenshot away from being shared outside of your private circle. This is a lesson that every student should learn without having to learn it the hard way. That's where Common Craft's new video could be helpful.

Digital Footprint Explained is Common Craft's latest video. The three minute video teaches viewers how they make digital footprints as soon as they go online, how digital footprints are tracked by organizations, and how to reduce the risks associated with leaving digital footprints.

Applications for Education
You and I know both know that teenagers watching this video might say something like "yeah, but if you do X, no one can track you." This video should help them understand that even those things can be tracked by law enforcement.

In related news, Common Craft is giving away three free pro accounts at the end of the month. All you have to do is be a teacher or librarian and complete the entry form here.

Disclosure: I have a long-standing in-kind relationship with Common Craft.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Advertising and What YouTube Knows About You

We've all had the annoying experience of going to show a YouTube video in a classroom or to a friend only to have an advertisement play for five, ten, or thirty seconds before you can actually watch the video. How does YouTube know which ads to show to you? That's partly based on your viewing habits and the channels to which you subscribe. It's also partly based on what advertisers are willing to pay to appear on a video. That process happens in less than a second. Learn more about YouTube advertising and how much a video earns by watching the following CGP Grey video.

Applications for Education
Many students happily click from one video to the next (YouTube says that average user watches 40 minutes of video per day on a mobile phone) without thinking about the digital footprint that is left behind. Ask your students to think about the advertisements they see and how they get there. Then show them CGP Grey's video. They might be surprised by what YouTube knows about them.

You can avoid much of the video viewing habits tracking by watching YouTube without signing into your Google account and by using an incognito browser window.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

This Creepily Named Site Reminds Us To Check Facebook Privacy Settings

Stalkscan is the creepy name of a website that lets people enter the URL of a Facebook profile and view all of the public information for that profile. The site is a good reminder to check your Facebook privacy settings regularly. You can can always view your own profile as another person by going to the "view as" menu found in the header of your Facebook page. The "view as" option will also show you how your profile looks when it is returned in a search conducted by someone who is not your Facebook friend.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned above, Stalkscan is a good reminder for students and adults to keep tabs on their digital footprints. It's also a good reminder to read those privacy updates whenever Facebook changes their privacy policies.

H/T to Lifehacker.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to Conduct a Reverse Image Search

Tineye is a free tool that helps you conduct reverse image searches. In a reverse image search you're searching for the places where an image has been posted online. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to conduct a reverse image search.

Applications for Education
Conducting a reverse can be a good way for students to discover information about an object or location featured in a picture. As demonstrated above, when the image is located through Tineye students can click through to the source to see how the image was used and what was written about the image.

Conducting a reverse image search can provide students with a good lesson on digital footprints. Have them conduct a reverse image search for images they have posted online and then count the number of places where that image has appeared.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Have You Googled Yourself Lately?

A few years ago one of my homeroom 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 students' parents Google his or her name. Do you know? You should. Do your students know what comes up when someone Googles them?

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. At least once a year I had my high school students Google themselves. When I had groups made up of juniors (11th grade students) who will be researching and applying to colleges, I had them Google themselves and perform a "social media audit" to make sure that they didn't have anything on a social network that they wouldn't want an interview to see. You and your students can also create Google Alerts to help them monitor their digital footprints.

Friday, June 21, 2013

MyPermissions - Keep Track of the Apps That Access Your Online Accounts

Many services allow you to register and use their services by logging-in with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google credentials. If you use that option a lot, you might forgot just how many services have access to your Facebook, Twitter, and Google accounts. MyPermissions is a handy tool that will show you all of the services that you have authorized to access your social media accounts. The service can be used in your web browser or you can download the free MyPermissions iOS and Android apps.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Digital Citizenship Guide from Edmodo and Common Sense Media

Edmodo and Common Sense Media have partnered to create a digital citizenship starter kit. This seven page PDF contains a three part lesson on digital citizenship. At the completion of the lesson you can have your students take and sign the digital citizenship. The pledge highlights some of the key parts of being a responsible digital citizen. You can see the pledge sheet below.

Applications for Education
You can download the digital citizenship starter kit from this Edmodo page without registering or signing into Edmodo. Even though the kit clearly has a secondary purpose of getting teachers and students to sign-up for Edmodo, it is still a nice little resource for an introductory lesson on digital citizenship.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Infographic - Google Yourself

One of the most important pieces of managing your digital footprint is knowing what information about you can be found online. As I mentioned here, we need to teach our students to Google themselves. This is especially important for students that are applying to college this fall. Make Use Of recently shared an infographic that reminded me of this. The Google Yourself Challenge makes use of statistics to remind viewers why they need to Google themselves. I've embedded the graphic in below. You can also click here to view the infographic.
Applications for Education
In addition to Googling themselves, I recommend having high school students create Google Alerts for their names and other information that might be related to them. For example, I have a Google Alert set just for "Richard Byrne" and I have one set for "Richard Byrne Technology."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

No One Is Spreading Rumors About You...


Twitter is a fantastic place to connect with other educators and join in conversations like #EdChat to share ideas and resources. However, Twitter isn't a walled garden by any stretch of the imagination. There are plenty of opportunities for unscrupulous people to spread harmful links. Lately, I've been seeing a slew of direct messages that contain a message along the lines of, "Hey somebody is spreading nasty rumors about you" followed by a link. It might seem obvious, but don't click that link! David Wees explained here what clicking that link will lead to, it's not good.

Applications for Education
These Twitter scams provide a reminder of why we need to teach students to be discerning users of web services. Unless you're Delonte West and you just gave another NBA player a wet willy or you actually have said some inflammatory things on the web, there probably isn't someone spreading nasty rumors about you (yes, I just wanted to work-in that weird story about Delonte West). That said, it's still a good idea to manage your online reputation by setting up Google Alerts for your name, variations of your name, and keywords or phrases commonly connected to your name. For example, I have a Google Alert for "Richard Byrne Free Technology for Teachers."

Along the same lines as the Twitter scam, you should also be aware of "free coffee on Facebook."

Monday, March 26, 2012

What About Me? - Create an Infographic About Yourself

What About Me? is a free infographic generator from Intel. The purpose of What About Me? is to create infographics based on your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube activities. The infographic created includes parts of your recent Facebook posts, when and what you post about on all three networks, and What About Me? even evaluates the average tone of your messages (mine are neither angry nor overly happy in tone). When your infographic is complete, you can download it from What About Me?

Applications for Education
What About Me? could be a good tool for getting students to look at their social media footprints. This could be particularly important for high school students applying to college as well as for students looking for jobs. Have students create an infographic to analyze what they're sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

H/T to Cool Infographics

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Think Before You Click - Is That Free Coffee or a Scam?

Today is Safer Internet Day. Yesterday, I published a list of fifteen good resources for teaching Internet safety. This morning I have another resource that can help you and your students safely manage your digital footprints.

Too often I see some of my own Facebook acquaintances fall for things like "Share this post if you like Starbucks and want a $50 gift card." In fact, just last week one of my Facebook acquaintances fell for the "Free Southwest Airlines tickets" scam. While it's true that companies do use Facebook for promotions, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. A tell tale sign that a promotion is a scam is if the promotion wants to install an app that asks to access your Facebook information. Unfortunately, not all scams are that obvious. The Better Business Bureau does a good job of keeping track of common social media scams. The next time you see a promotion on Facebook that sounds too good to be true, check the BBB's list of scam alerts before proceeding.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Have You Checked Your Facebook Apps Recently?

I couple of days ago I highlighted Google Good to Know which explains a lot of what you need to know about how Google and other companies collect and use data about your browsing habits. Today, I'd like to remind you to check up on the Facebook apps you've authorized.

Remember that Facebook quiz you took last year to figure out which 1980's wrestling star you are most like? Or do you remember that application you used to determine which celebrity haircut best suits the shape of your face? Unless you've gone into your apps authorization menu and deactivate those apps, they could still be collected information about you. And depending on what the app was authorized to do, it could post to your wall on your behalf.

Applications for Education
Why should you care about this? Because as professionals who are in the public view (yes, even those of you who have very restrictive settings on your Facebook account) you don't want to have a long-forgotten Facebook app to either post on your behalf or worse yet if the app itself is compromised running the risk of your account being compromised. I'm not saying that you should go into your Apps settings menu and deactivate all of your apps. But you should take a look and see what you have authorized and since forgotten about. If it's not something you've used in the last six months, deactivate it.

Pass this reminder and information along to your students too. Facebook is a huge part of many students' digital footprints, they should be actively managing that footprint.

I also recommend reading Wes Fryer's blog post about using Socioclean to manage your digital footprint.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Google Good to Know - Tips for Online Safety and More

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.

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

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TinEye - Reverse Image Search

Yesterday, Google announced that they were completely revamping the way that image search results were displayed. It's a neat new display, try it out. But what if you've located an image and want to see how it's been used and reused on the web? That's where TinEye comes in. TinEye is a reverse image search engine. Here's how it works, upload an image to TinEye or paste an image url into TinEye and it will scour the web to locate other uses of that image. TinEye will give you the links to where your specified image has been used.

Learn more about TinEye in the video below.

Applications for Education
TinEye could be useful for teaching students to be aware of their digital footprints. You could use TinEye to show them that an image they upload to a social network could get reused in multiple places.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google for Teachers - Free Ebook
Google for Teachers II - Free Ebook
Seven Videos All Educators Should Watch

Monday, February 15, 2010

Engaging Students with Voki

Thank you Richard and readers for having me as a guest blogger today as Richard takes a well-deserved vacation.

Currently, I use wikis to provide supplemental materials for my English language learners. In each wiki, my students enjoy the Voki avatars. Voki is a free service that allows your students to create personalized speaking avatars and embed them on a blog or wiki or send them via e-mail. This service provides numerous features to help students personalize their speaking avatar's voice, appearance, hair color, background, clothing, and more. Additionally, when you make changes to your Voki these are automatically updated. These various options make Voki ideal for engaging students in any subject at any grade level.

My adult students enjoy listening to weekly conversations from Shelly and Steve. The adults visit the class wiki to listen to the conversation, then answer questions. Below is a conversation about the Super Bowl. I asked my students if they could figure out what the phrase "rooting for" meant by listening to the conversation.

Another way I use Voki is to help my very young students create digital identities. The parents feel more comfortable with the children using avatars instead of their real identities. The children also create the conversations for the Voki. Voki also helped me engage students with our class puppet, Teddy the Bear. The children helped me create a Voki in Teddy the Bear's image. At the beginning of each class, Teddy the Bear greets the children by name, tells them what he's been up to, and asks them a question.

These are a few ways I use Voki with my students. How could you use Voki to engage your students in your subject area?

Shelly Terrell is a technology teacher trainer, English language teacher, and the Director of Educator Outreach for Parentella. Explore her Teacher Reboot Camp blog for tips on professional development and integrating technology effectively into the curriculum.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How Googly Are You? - Teaching Awareness of Digital Footprints

Yesterday, Allen Stern of Center Networks posted a long list of ways that Google can gather data about its users. I don't worry too much about what kind of data Google collects about me because I think a little data about me is a fair trade for all of the useful tools that Google provides to me (this blog is a case in point). That said, reading Allen's list did remind me of the importance of teaching students to be aware of the digital footprint that they leave online.

In the past year I have come across some good resources for teaching students lessons about being aware of their digital footprints. One of those resources is Frontline's documentary Growing Up Online which every parent and student should watch and can watch for free on the Frontline website.

There are two good slideshow presentations about digital footprint awareness on Slide Share. Sacha Chua's slide show The Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 at Work should be seen by high school students. I've embedded that slide show below.

Dean Groom also has a good slide show about digital footprints that teachers and administrators should watch as it stresses the importance to teaching digital footprint awareness. Check out Dean's slide show here.