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Google’s Me On the Web- keep track of your digital footprint

What it is: Me On the Web is a new tool from Google.  Announced just today, Me On the Web is part of the Google Dashboard that allows you to set up custom Google Alerts for your name in news articles.  This was always possible with Google Alerts but now those alerts are coupled with tips and resources for helping students manage their online identities.  Now everything can be tracked from one central location instead of scattered around in different places.  Me On the Web is easy to set up, just visit your Google Dashboard to get started.

How to integrate Me on the Web into the classroom: There was a day when you could get away with not knowing and following your digital identity, that day is no more.  We all carry digital footprints, and now more than ever it is vital for us (and our students) to know how to manage those digital footprints.  Teaching students about their digital identity is the first step, Google’s Me on the Web takes that a step further by helping students manage their online identities through Google Alerts and helpful tips.  Students must have an account with Google to fully utilize the Me on the Web features.  After students have their account set up, they can create a set of Google Alerts related to them.  This could be their name, email address, a sports team that they play on, the name of the school they attend, etc.  Students will quickly see just how big a memory the Internet has and get a first hand look at their digital footprint and learn some strategies to take care of it.

If you are working with younger students without Google accounts (and most likely with a smaller digital footprint) you can share the School’s digital footprint or if you are brave (and after you know what will come up), your own.  This gives even young students a good idea that their digital lives are not private and that what is shared their needs to be managed.

Me On the Web is a great way to begin discussions about social media, character education and respecting yourself and others.

Tips: Google even shares a section about how to remove content from a Google Search.  Here is a hint, it is not as easy as just managing your identity PRIOR to needing to remove it.  Good choices my friends, good choices.  Anthony Weiner could learn a thing or two- just sayin’.

**By the way, if you haven’t seen the Google logo in honor of the lunar eclipse, it is definitely worth checking out- today only! 🙂

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Me On the Web  in your classroom!

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