If you use Google, take a few minutes to check out the Google Dashboard and look over a detailed digital footprint snapshot of your Google activities. Learning about digital footprints is an important 21st Century connected-world skill.
The Dashboard keeps track of everything — and I mean everything — that you do on Google. It’s a dynamic digital footprint collection. To sign in and examine your Gmail or Google Alerts is easy, and you can also check out the other features offered by Google such as Google Docs, Google Calendar, Blogger, or Google Reader (many more Google products are available and new ones become available on a regular basis).
Google Dashboard is an awesome connected-world teaching tool for 21st Century children at any age and for adults, because it makes a point — concretely — about the amount of information that Google accumulates on each of us. Many people are surprised, and a bit disconcerted, on a first visit, because the Dashboard depicts a good deal about each user.
Unlike many sites on the Internet Google does usually try to think about privacy — at least in certain ways — and the Dashboard is one way to share exactly what information it collects. There’s even a box to check so you get a monthly reminder to check out the Dashboard.
The instructions below can help you explore your Google Dashboard.
- Go to the Google My Accounts page or directly to Google Dashboard.
- Page down to the Account Tools section and click on Dashboard. The link says “View data stored in this account.” (see graphic above)
- The Dashboard page appears.
- The left column has compilations of your personal information and activities on Google. The right has links to enable you to adjust settings.
On your computer screen you can look over the left-hand side. You will discover that Dashboard notes just about everything you have done with Google features. For instance, it keeps track of how many alerts you have set and how many blogs you are following.
To me, the most interesting parts of the dashboard are the two Dashboard sections that keep track of Gmail and Google searches. It’s extraordinary — just how much Google knows about each of us – even when we have carefully set our privacy settings.
Check out your own dashboard statistics and then help your kids check out theirs.
N.B. Google allows people to delete the dashboard when they stop using Google resources.