I really need to change the blog to K12GoogleSourceClassroom, since I seem to report more and more on Google related services, including Android. As I predicted years ago though, they just are trying to take over the world.
Today’s new tool is the Account Activity, which, of course, is in beta. What the Account Activity does is send you regular reports to summarize all that you do with your Google account. Google really wants to show they provide transparency, so there you go. I signed up for it and received my first report a few minutes later. I was definitely overwhelmed at all that it included.
Right off the bat it will show you which browsers and operating systems you use. Chrome, IE, and Firefox for me, along with Android, Linux, and Windows, no surprises there. It shows how many emails you sent in a 30 dayish period. 159 for me, while receiving 864 (spam, spam, spam!). It summarizes the top contacted emails. Google Latitude shows where you visit (if you use Latitude with your Android phone). It shows your web history, where I do use regularly. And then it shows you a YouTube summary, along with your most popular video. It also looks like eventually we will be able to set the date range, similar to Google Analytics.
Definitely very helpful info. But how to use in education? Interpreting data is definitely a skill we need to work on with students. You could pull any of this data out to graph, chart, or reflect on. You could use it to highlight how the internet tracks everything we do, and to discuss online safety and digital presences. That can definitely occur at home with your own children as well. In a data-rich world, Google definitely does their part to make their data available to us. Definitely keep tabs on this new beta feature!