Get to Know "Google: Good to Know"

11/27/2012 12:00:00 AM
Here's a great little gem I learned about recently: Google's "Good to Know" page. It's a perfect addition to any digital curriculum, and offers plenty to gain for even hardcore Internet users. "Good to Know" is broken into 4 main areas:
  • Stay Safe online — good for teaching about strong passwords, the dangers that exist, such as phishing, malware, and scams and more
  • Your Data on the Web — helps students learn all about "cookies" and "IP addresses"
  • Your data on Google — perfect for teachings students how to use a search engine properly, as well as making students aware that Google (and other sites) do in fact collect data on users
  • Manage Your Data — the best part of this section is "Me on the Web," which is a perfect starting place for students to learn about their "digital footprint"
There are a couple of "sub-sections" at the bottom of the page, specifically "Jargon Buster" (where technical terms are explained, mostly through video presentations, using metaphors to make terms like "malware" easy to understand), and "Family Safety Center."

Though "Family Safety Center" is a "subcategory" on the page, it is a "goldmine" of useful information. It offers lessons on how to keep safe using Google, how to control your sharing and privacy settings, and "Tips from Google Parents" (introducing important topics such as cyberbullying).

However, the section I appreciate the most on this page is the "More Resources" section. You're going to find plenty here, but head immediately to the "THINKB4U" site if you want to engage your students with some "witty" entertaining videos (geared around the happenings of a particular family), accompanied by activities where the user gets to make decisions to choose the outcome of the video. For instance, in one video, you make the decision whether two boys should cite their sources for a research piece or not. There is plenty of material at this site for students and parents, and would work well being explored by both groups together.

No resource page would be complete without Common Sense Media (in my opinion) and it's included with plenty of other great sites.

So, get to know Google's "Good to Know" page; it offers an entire curriculum for students across the grade spectrum, and is an excellent resource for staff and parent training.
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