Are you tired of trying to teach your students how to do safe and efficient Web searches? Do you feel like screaming when your students put in a keyword, come up with millions of hits, and use whatever is on Google's first page?
Most likely, your students feel like screaming, too, when they have to sit through yet another put-kids-to-sleep lecture about searching. Maybe, they feel that what they are hearing is useless. Coming up with perfect keywords isn't that simple, and starting at "trusted sites" and linking out from them to find what they want seems like a waste of time when they can zip a keyword into Google and get something on their topic.
Why not try another approach? Go to Google's Search Education Website, where you'll find lesson ideas, activities, and cool search techniques. If you want, you can take part in live training with some of Google Search experts or browse archives of previous training sessions. You'll learn how to use Google search options and how to make searches more meaningful for your students.
If you want to investigate options on your own, go to Google Blog Search, put in a keyword, and explore the tools you'll see on the left. You'll notice that the list of tools differs from the one you'll see if you simply go to Google.com. You'll also find additional options within the Image, Video, News, and Maps options and when using Google Chrome.
Here are some of the cool tools to get your student started:
Search by Time
To find the latest news on a topic, students can search the past 24 hours, the past week, past month, past year, or set their own beginning and ending dates. If they select Custom Search, they are entering their own dates. Time searches are especially helpful if they can't recall the name of an article, but know approximately when it was published.
Search by Image Color
Maybe they are doing a presentation about the different shades of blue used in Renoir's paintings? They click on Images on the left; type in their keywords- perhaps Renoir, paintings; and then select the color blue on the color list. All of the artist's paintings with hues of blue in them will be displayed. In one of the videos featuring Google Search options that you can find on the WebPro News Page for Google, a student searches for a good image of a baseball field. He puts in the keyword "baseball", clicks green, and he has more green diamonds than he could possibly use.
Search by Image
Students can, of course, use search words to find an image, but what if they want to know more about a particular image or work of art? They pick a photo from their computer, mobile device, or the Web. They select Images, click on the camera icon, and upload their image or drop it into the search box. This option works best with famous buildings, photos of famous people, and works of art. It can help students find the history of the object or person targeted in their search.
Search by Voice on Computer
Using the latest version of Google Chrome, students can go to Google.com, click on the microphone, and tell their computer what to find.
To get pages in searches to appear faster, remind your students to use Google Chrome.
These are just a few of the tools to help your students tune up their searches; if you want to introduce them to additional ideas, you'll find useful videos on Google's WebPro News Page.