Tech Tip Tuesday: Using Google Alerts

by Kristie Burk

Google Alerts is an underutilized tool that I find to be extremely useful.  The service is relatively simple, but powerful.  Type in a search query, such as “Downingtown Area School District” and enter the email address where you’d like your alerts sent.

You can choose the source for your alerts, such as news, blogs, video, discussions, etc. You can also select how often you would like these alerts.

How can you use Google Alerts?

  • If you’re tracking your digital footprint, you can create a Google Alert on your own name (or your school) to find out what people are saying about you!
  • Keep up-to-date on a specific topic.  For example, I’ve set up a Google Alert to let me know any time the words “blended learning” are mentioned in the news.
  • Use alerts to curate content!  If you are teaching contemporary history, you can create a Google Alert for news on ISIS, for example.

Because the alerts are run by Google, the search engine works similarly.  Make sure that you put your keywords in quotation marks, use symbols such as “-,” or search by particular sites.

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