How to Track Topics With Google Alerts

On Thursday at the Teacher 2 Teacher conference I introduced a couple of folks to Google Alerts. Those introductions came out of their questions about how I was able to keep track of where Free Technology for Teachers was mentioned online. Then today at the same conference I sat in on Silvia Tolisano’s presentation about student blogging in which she told participants about Google Alerts. In both cases we were telling people about Google Alerts so that they can easily track topics online.

Google Alerts is a great tool for tracking your name online, tracking work you’ve posted online, and tracking the topics in you have an interest. You can create a Google Alert for any search term(s) you like. Once you’ve established an alert, you can choose to have Google send you an email anytime your chosen terms appear online. Alternatively, you can choose to have your alerts delivered to your Google Reader account.

The image below outlines how to create Google Alerts.
(click to enlarge)

Applications for Education
Google Alerts can be a great way to find resources you can use in your classroom. For example, if you’re a mathematics teacher, set up an alert for “mathematics lessons” or “mathematics games” and new content will be delivered to you. In a course that requires students to share current events stories, Google Alerts could be useful for students to track stories on a particular news topic.


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