December 20, 2019

Educators and individuals

Whether you are a teaching digital literacy or just someone interested in learning more about your own behavior, Web Historian can help you or your students investigate their real behavior and compare it to what they think they do online.

Web Historian has been used for class activiteies from middle school through graduate school. It has been used to help make students more aware of how they use their time online, what their “digital footprint” actually looks like, and how to interact with a visual dataset. The interactive visuals are compelling to students of all ages and display large amounts of information in an easy to understand format.

Download the educational edition for Chrome

Watch the video on how to use the educational edition

If  you have browsing history from Firefox or IE you wan to view in Web historian, you can import it to Chrome.

Class activity ideas & examples

Simple and fun activities with peers will help understand how Web Historian functions in a step-by-step way. Students will learn how digital footprints are formed and how they can be used. They will also understand the way data visualization can help them in developing productive online habits in line with their own goals.

What do I think I do? What I actually do? and What do I want to do?

Students will get a clear idea of the way they use their time online, whether they are meeting their goals and what adjustments they need to make to use their online time more effectively. Storytelling is the key in this activity.

  • Take out a sheet of paper and write down answers to these questions
      • What are the websites you go to almost every time you use this computer?
      • Do you use some of these sites at particular times of the day?
      • What time of day and day of the week do you usually go online on this computer?
      • Which websites do you rely on to access other information from around the web? (Usually, these are search engines or social media, but also could be web-based email, news portal sites, etc.).
      • What have you used a search engine on this computer to find out about recently? Has that changed over time?
      • What articles have you read on this computer that have Trump in the title? How did you get to them?

Now, take out your laptop and find answers to the same above questions on Web Historian. Here is a video that will show you how to do this in Web Historian. Tally the findings with the answers that you wrote down.

Debrief discussion:

  • Do the findings differ or match to what you wrote?
  • How will you explain the difference?
  • Are you useing your time online the way you wan to?
  • What would you ideal habits visualization (circles) look like?

Final step: Write Ericka Menchen-Trevino to let her know how it went, or if you have other activity ideas! menchent@american.edu

Other question ideas for this activity:

  • What browser do you use for online search?
  • Your top 10 search words
  • Time of the day/night when you are most active online
  • Most actively used social media platforms
  • Top 10 most visited websites