Everybody ‘googles’ everything. This tool might make you think!

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Employers ‘google’ you. Friends ‘google’ you. You ‘google’ you!

We are constantly reminded of the importance of our online presence as day after day someone has their world changed by a careless tweet or inappropriate photograph. The importance of a digital footprint is understood by many, but perhaps most aren’t quite sure just how they are viewed ‘online’. I’m not talking about an image search, or Facebook post from your teens (although these are very important); it is more that how you are viewed ‘online’ should support your chosen path.

Take a student who wants to earn a place as an intern for a law firm. A Google search doesn’t indicate anything untoward and the candidate is called for interview by the firm. Wouldn’t it be an advantage if that ‘search’ highlighted just how committed to a career in law that student was? Not only would they be called for interview on the strength of their application, but their chance of success might be improved by a clear online interest in the field of law.

Enter Rebelmouse.com

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(click image to view site)

It would do this site an injustice to just call it a social media aggregator (you can also write posts on it or ask other people to contribute). It pulls together your online presence and highlights your interests through Twitter, Google+, Facebook, WordPress and many more. It displays your interactions and interests on social media sites and gives a very quick impression of your online presence. Each tile can then be accessed allowing blogposts to be read or articles/videos viewed.

Actions brought together on Rebelmouse include:

Read more here – www.rebelmouse.com/rebelmouse/FAQ/

I should point out that I am a strong advocate of having two separate online profiles, professional and social. Every student I advise is reminded of the need to keep the social part private and the professional side public. This means that sites like Rebelmouse.com only pull together the professional aspects of a student’s online profile. If we go back to our law student, the professional social media accounts should reference law, among other interests, so the Rebelmouse site can bring together an impressive catalogue of interest and interaction.

With the help of sites like Rebelmouse.com the aim would be for our student’s online presence to be supported by:

  • A blog linked to the area of interest
  • A Twitter account that follows and interacts with a relevant community
  • A Google+ account that posts regularly, particularly regarding multimedia resources

In addition a student could link any of the popular social media sites as long as it maintains a professional aspect.

I realise that there are many implications linked to creating an online presence like this, but I see it as crucial to our students’ employability. I’m not suggesting they will receive an offer of employment because of it. Rather, that employers will look favourably on an individual who can easily prove their interest and commitment to a profession.

Of course that all depends if they know what they would like to do!

I strongly recommend you check out your own online presence at Rebelmouse.com. You might be surprised at what you see!

Google Drive for Teachers with ‘How-to’ video links

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Google has tripled free storage space, across Gmail, Google+ and Drive, bringing the total to 15GB. This is a serious move by Google as it places the company at the forefront of cloud based solutions with institutions working to tight financial constraints. Having turned to Google Drive as my main storage facility, I thought I would highlight some advantages of using the platform. (Please click on the links for further explanation.)

Advantages

  • Access files anytime on any device with an internet connection.
  • Work offline with documents.
  • Share files/documents with others and collaborate in real time.
  • Share folders with students and receive and feedback on assignments.
  • Allow read only access on documents and share with students as resource with no photocopying.
  • Save a document in a variety of formats.
  • Works with other Google Apps to provide platform for forms, surveys, projects.
  • Save to GoogleDrive with two taps of an icon or clicks of a mouse.
  • Search files in Drive for name or keyword.

(courtesy of Anson Alexander)

Google Drive provides a platform to organise and enhance workflow for teachers. The most obvious example is how quickly resources can be shared, annotated and collaborated upon. A shared folder with a student could contain assignments, screencasts and resources that could serve to form a digital portfolio and a reference point for teacher and parents. In my opinion, the fact that we can now share more storage space for free, places Google Drive firmly ahead of Dropbox. This is supported by the recent announcement that you can also save web resources at the click of a button, bringing Google Drive into line with the functionality of Dropbox.

As with other cloud based solutions, there are a number of disadvantages to using Google Drive. Not least the requirement to sign up students via a Gmail account and the testing question of the whole school solution. However, as we make our way with cloud based storage, I can recommend giving Google Drive a try. With 15GB for free what have you got to lose?