Google search tips

Students have a lot of difficulty composing search terms to find relevant information at the top of the list. So many students these days just type a question and expect a full answer.

This post on the Educators Technology blog explains many tips for searching. They have used the tips from to make a poster that I will certainly use for the Information Skills seminars for our students next week.
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Gooru – A search engine specifically for Learning

This site links to many online educational resources available for Science and Maths at Secondary level. As it develops it is set to become to become a starting point for students to discover resources of all types and all subject areas in the one place – specific to their educational needs.

Teachers and students can use Gooru to search for rich collections of multimedia resources, digital textbooks, videos, games and quizzes created by educators in the Gooru community.Gooru is free (of cost and ads) and developed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to honor the human right to education.

Independent learners – it’s all in the ‘search’

Critical thinking skills are extremely important in order for students to be able to search and find relevant information to meet their research needs. This video clip  states that there is now a new digital divide – “those that are able to search and those that are not able to search.” Google provides online tools, webinars and lesson plans to help teach students search skills.

Many students go straight to the search box without noticing the many extra tools that help to narrow the search field down to relevant information.
AND…Don’t forget that our school library offers Teacher Librarian support and seminars to improve information and digital literacy.


Search terms – carefully selected words make a difference!

Students often type full questions into a search engine and wonder why the hits are not what they need. Learning how to decide on key words or search terms can be difficult for students. The following link gives an interesting and ‘fun’ way to broach this concept – use rebuses!

You might remember these puzzles from childhood, where select words in a narrative are replaced with pictures. We started playing with the idea, and realized this could be a great lesson for students in identifying the best search terms.

Google search – less hits, more relevance?

A fascinating article was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend. Besides describing how Google operates at its headquarters in California, it tells of where it is aiming to go in the next ten years.

From a collection of information sites to specifically selected, collected and disseminated knowledge….

Googlers are now being urged to understand that turning uncounted trillions of pieces of data into more trillions of pages of retrievable information was a mere baby step in a march towards something much grander and less tangible: the getting and disseminating of knowledge.

It means, effectively, teaching computers to think; to figure out precisely what a user might want to know, find it and then package it up so it can be digested in the shortest possible time and in the most useful possible manner.

Read more:

TED talk by inspirational School Librarian, Dr Joyce Valenza

Dr Joyce Valenza is well known worldwide by Teacher Librarians for her innovative use of technology in schools and her contributions to the development of Web2.0 tools integrated into school research practice. She regularly visits Australia to share at our professional development conferences.