Workshop W... Advanced Search Practice


Workshop W …. Explore Google Advanced and see if you can find ways to use it to incorporate Inquiry in your classroom and also discover possible resources to scaffold your lessons' learning.

Spend a little time with Wolfram|Alpha and explore. Write down some ideas.

Resources To Learn More About Searching

Google Advanced Search - I often present on the importance of Digital Immigrants (most teachers) facilitating Digital Natives (most k12 students) in the use of digital technology. You see, I believe that while today’s digital natives have a affinity for using digital tools… they often do not have the life experiences to utilize these tools to their greatest potential. One example I would like to present to you today is the use of Google as a search engine. I have had many an opportunity to watch students perform various searches with Google during my teaching career. I often see what I claim is inefficient input resulting in a multitude of needless results from Google. Assisting our digital natives in the process of searching is something that all of us as digital immigrants can help with. We have the life experiences and educational background to help our students fine tune their digital skills and become more productive in research. I would suggest that educators direct students towards the Google Advanced Search Engine even before using the Google Basic Search. In fact, I would further suggest that an Advanced Search be used until students understand how to use these advanced techniques in a Basic Search. Why? Read on.

Google Basic Search - While you may understand why I promote the Advanced Search perhaps you still want to more about a basic search. The Google Basic Search is usually the first place most people begin a search and it is also the last place they end. Many times students just type in some words and get lost in millions of results trying to find an answer. Impressed by the number of hits they get, many times they forget that the art of searching is getting fewer results with relevant answers. I would like to share with you ten important concepts to think about in getting optimal searches from the Google basic search engine. Print this off and hand out to others. It really is the very basic in using Google. Please note that the last item includes over twenty basic commands that will really help you and your students be more productive. Read on for some great information.

WolframAlpha - OK... I wrote this on Super Bowl Sunday … so how about a little Superbowl fun with a computational search engine. That’s right… a search engine that is built on the foundation of data and statistics. You see, Google is best termed an informational search engine… its strength is looking for facts and information. But by now you may know that I am referring to Wolfram Alpha. This search engine claims, “to bring broad, deep, expert knowledge to everyone… anytime, anywhere!”. They further state, “We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematization of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.”I am a believer in this powerful search engine and include it in many of my professional development talks and workshops across the country. It is especially wonderful in those STEM related studies but I am learning that it is powerful in many other areas as well. Today, I began to wonder about the claim of curating all objective data. With the Super Bowl on my mind I decided to put Wolfram Alpha to the test. Read the full article.

A Google A Day - Try it to practice inquiry.