Kick off the new school year with lessons from our Back to School 2022 collection to help students express themselves, build relationships, and stay organized.

1. Introduction to Understand Your Digital Footprint

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Every time you go online, you leave behind data -- or information -- about yourself.

The online information about you that exists as a result of your activity on the internet is called your digital footprint.

People, such as college admissions officers, potential employers, companies that would like you to buy their product, and even criminals, may look at your digital footprint to find out more about you.

For example, potential employers can view information about you on your social media accounts or even your friends’ accounts.

Or companies may be able to see your search or purchase history.

They can use this data to develop opinions about you, make assumptions about your likes and dislikes, and try to sell you things.

Sometimes you can be aware of the data you are leaving behind -- for instance, when you fill out a form, make a purchase, post a comment, or upload a photo.

Other times, it’s not obvious that you are contributing to your digital footprint.

You may be unaware that you leave data behind when browsing the internet, or that your location might be embedded in the photos you post.

In this lesson, you will think about all the things that make up a person’s digital footprint and list them in a spreadsheet.

Then, you will mark all the online actions you take part in and use conditional formatting to add color to your digital footprint.

Complete this lesson by yourself or with a group.

If you are working in a group, get together with them now.

If you don’t have a group, ask your teacher.

This lesson uses Google Sheets, but you could complete it in any spreadsheet application or even with pen and paper.

To work on this lesson, sign in to your Google account.

Open a new tab in your browser, and navigate to If you are not signed in, do so now.

If you do not have a Google account, pause the video and create one now.

To begin, open your Google Drive.

Have one person in your group create a new spreadsheet and rename it.

If you’re working with others, share the spreadsheet with each person in your group.

Select the permission you want to use: Editor means the person you share with can make changes directly in your spreadsheet.

Commenter allows them to make comments, but not change the project spreadsheet.

And Viewer lets them see your spreadsheet only.

For this lesson, choose Editor.

Now, it’s your turn: Sign in to your Google account, Open and title a new spreadsheet, And share the spreadsheet with others if you’re working in a group.


  1. Sign in to your Google account.
  2. Open and title a new spreadsheet.
  3. Share the spreadsheet with others if you’re working in a group.