The education edition is currently available for the Google Chrome browser, and it can be installed from the Chrome Store. Coming soon for other browsers and in other languages.
The education edition of the Web Historian extension is designed to help anyone who is interested in understanding their browsing history to explore it through interactive visualizations.
Often, educators (from middle school through graduate school) are interested in helping students better understand the digital traces they leave behind. Below is an example of a class activity that uses Web Historian. Additional activities are forthcoming, or submit one you use to menchent at american dot edu.
Class activity example
This simple and fun activity will help students 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.
- 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 Biden 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.
- Do the findings differ or match to what you wrote?
- How will you explain the difference?
- Are you using your time online the way you want to?
- What would you ideal ‘habits’ visualization (circles) look like?
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
Please let me know if this activity was helpful to you or if you have any questions or suggestions - menchent at american dot edu.