21 Replies Latest reply on Jun 24, 2012 2:34 PM by susangauthier

    Going Beyond Google

      Are your students only using Google to search for data? I have to make my study skills classes take an "I won't only use Google" oath and they moan and groan the entire time! Why is it important to help students learn about the use of different ways to search for information? What are some of the search tools you use in your classroom (besides Google...of course)?

        • Re: Going Beyond Google
          glen_w

          Susan,

           

          I'm excited you began this discussion. I like to have students search Wolfram|Alpha when we look for information for science. The site is also excellent for Math searches. One example of a typical Wolfram|Alpha science search for me is "Density." For fun ... compare the resulting page with a "Google" search.

            • Re: Going Beyond Google
              MrsSmoke

              Wolfram is an AWESOME tool - I even purchased it for my iPad/iPhone.  It's the perfect data search engine.  Google is trying to copy some of the WA features, however.  Have you noticed that if you google something like "Red Pandas" - look on the right hand side of the results page.  What do you see - Data! 

                • Re: Going Beyond Google
                  glen_w

                  I've noticed Google trending more like Wolfram Alpha. I, however tend to use Google less for Data due to the accuracy I get from a Wolfram Alpha search. It may soon be that Google's Data is equally good, until then ...

              • Re: Going Beyond Google

                This is a Google search but Serachypants.com uses Google Custom search to provide a safe search environment for students. Searchy Pants offers more than just a simple search engine. You can customize the page on which students search by choosing from a variety of background themes. Once you've chosen a theme you can add links to your page that you want students to access. This Youtube video gives you all the info on the search tool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5dTsxz1QkE - I think this would be a great tool for students especially for study skills classes. Check out the site and let us know what you think. Could you use it with your students? What are some of the search tools you are currently using with your classes?

                • Re: Going Beyond Google
                  glen_w

                  Mrs. Gray (A Middle School teacher) created a Google Custom Search tool for students to use. Mrs. Gray's Research Sites for Kids is basically locked down to what sites a search result comes from.

                  • Re: Going Beyond Google

                    Obviously I have to put in a plug for Bing. Not only is is a great search engine (my opinion :-) ) but it has interesting new pictures evry day. I know a number of teachers who use these images to stir interest in new things among their students.

                    • Re: Going Beyond Google
                      perkinsde

                      Sweet Search is a search engine for students that searches only sites that have been pre-approved by librarian and teacher consultants. SweetSearch4Me is specifically for elementary student searches. They also provide code for a search widget that you can embed on your webpage or wiki.

                        • Re: Going Beyond Google
                          lwenske

                          Thank you SO much for sharing, Debbie!  It's so tough with first graders, sometimes, when trying to make it clear that they can't necessarily just google any and everything.  I appreciate all such recommendations.  It's difficult, at times, to help students be the researchers that we want them to be, when search engines are tough to use in school.  Students (even first graders) are so used to hearing people say, "Well, we can google that..."  It's a hard thing to circumvent... 

                          • Re: Going Beyond Google

                            Ahhhh...sweet search! There are so many tools that I had forgotten about this one...Thanks for sharing and yes Lisa this would be great for your classroom.

                            • Re: Going Beyond Google
                              glen_w

                              Debbie,

                               

                              I so appreciate the additional ideas of "non-Google" search options. I appreciate the opportunity to help students realize they can do research using tools besides Google. I look forward to sharing the elementary option with my K-6 friends!

                            • Re: Going Beyond Google

                              I am trying out instaGrok with my students. I like the visual thesaurus built in the searches.

                                • Re: Going Beyond Google

                                  Hey! Just tried instaGrok and loved it!  I'm teaching summer school and the theme is Olympics...which I know very little about so I'm using instaGrok for my sake and then of course I'll share it with my students.  Thanks for the info!

                                • Re: Going Beyond Google

                                  Susan, I have the same problem.  I teach kindergarten and during the school year that just ended, this is what my classroom would often sound like (of course they picked this up from me)...

                                   

                                  Me:  I'm not sure what that is boys and girls...OR I've never heard of that....OR I wonder...

                                  Kindergarten Students:  Let's GOOGLE it Ms. Demery!!!!!

                                   

                                  Need I say more?....

                                  Therefore, I'm checking out all the responses that you'll be receiving!

                                  • Re: Going Beyond Google
                                    MrsSmoke

                                    My favorite feature in Google is hidden on the right hand side.  Once you type in your  query, scroll on the left to locate show more search tools.  From here, you find filters to narrow your search that makes searching brilliant!

                                      • Re: Going Beyond Google
                                        glen_w

                                        Google's filters are nice. I like to do the advanced search (under the gear at the top right) when I am looking for images. I change the last option "usage rights"  and select 'free to use or share." This does not make the images "copyright free" but indicates the image may be used in my classroom - and yes, I still credit the image source. (By the way, I show students how I do this early on during each year so they are already thinking about copyright.)

                                      • Re: Going Beyond Google

                                        OK guys what about this one....Quintura for Kids I am loving the word cloud that changes with the search. I know that Richard said a few posts back that he likes the visual...well I am wondering what he (and you too) thinks about using this one with students. Feedback?

                                          • Re: Going Beyond Google

                                            Susan, it's nice! The word cloud is age appropriate and more manageable for the younger learners. I can share it with my son! Thanks!

                                            • Re: Going Beyond Google

                                              OK...I ran across one that is geared towards not just a search but how to search. Boolify is a search engine that with hands-on “shows” students how to conduct an effective  search. You add keywords as puzzle pieces.  Drag a  keyword puzzle piece into the search field and you add the word for the search. Then drag a  qualifying word (AND or OR) and the results are modified as more words are added. What do you think? Share a search tool you are using with your students (or plan to use).

                                              Susan Gauthier wrote:

                                               

                                              OK guys what about this one....Quintura for Kids I am loving the word cloud that changes with the search. I know that Richard said a few posts back that he likes the visual...well I am wondering what he (and you too) thinks about using this one with students. Feedback?