Google Alerts allow you to automatically receive email alerts for search queries that you set up.
As a teacher, I use Alerts to notify me of current events that relate to the topic I am currently teaching. For example, during my last unit, evolution, I set up an alert using the keyword speciation. I wanted to find current and relevant news articles that I could share with my students, but I didn't want to spend the time to keep searching the web. Anytime google found this keyword, it sent me an email with a link to the website.
If your students are doing a research project, you can teach them how to set up alerts to get new information about their topic.
I think that Alerts would be a useful tool for school administrators to get emails each time their school is mentioned on the web or in the news. Here is an example of a Google Alert email that I received about my school.
It is pretty easy and quick to set up. Just go to http://www.google.com/alerts and fill out the form with your search query. You can change the settings to customize the search and the amount of emails you receive. You can even set it to search blogs, news, videos, other websites!
I would love to hear other creative ideas on how you would use Google Alerts. Please share in the comments below.