The ABC’s Of Searching Lesson 2: Using The Right Search Engine Background You go onto the Internet in hopes of finding web sites that can help you. You know that search engines can help you, but which one should you use? There are quite a few out there, but some are easier and safer to use than others. Let’s find out more. Objective By the end of this lesson you will know: Three different types of search engines Pros and cons of each type of search engine Examples and web addresses (URLs) for each type of search engine Lesson Get comfortable at your computer. If you are watching this as a slide show on your computer sit back and watch the tutorial. If you are watching it as a class follow along with the screen shots. So, open up your Internet program (Explorer, Netscape,…) now. We will be looking at 3 different kinds of search engines for different types of searches. • Subject Directories • Whole Language search engines or Question-Answer search engines • Keyword search engines The first type of search engine is a subject directory. This means that information is presented to you by subject or themes. This is the quickest and easiest type of search engine to use. Two popular examples include: & www.kidsclick.com www.yahooligans.com Let’s see how a subject directory works. You decide to use the KidsClick search engine. Imagine you need to find information out on the solar system for science class. Notice that there are subject headings listed below by categories such as Health, Science, Arts.. and many others. Since you want information on the planets you click on the science category. You will see a screen similar to the one pictured below. Notice that you need to choose again, from all the list of choices. You will need to click on planets, as that is what you want to research. Wow, we are given a list of only 20 web sites that are all about planets in just a few easy clicks. Notice that it gives you the title as a link (blue and underlined) followed by a short description of what the web site is all about. All you have to do is visit a few of the web sites to find out more about the planets. Let’s review subject directories! Pros: - Easy to use, just click and go - “kid” friendly web pages (safe) -Just a few web pages are given so you don’t waste time - You don’t have to type, just click and go Cons: - Doesn’t always have what you want (limited information) - Too simple, you might want more details and explanations. The second type of search engine is a question-answer search engine or whole language (regular language) search engine. This means you type a question, and it searches for web pages with possible answers to your question. A popular example is: Ask For Kids www.askforkids.com This is how a question-answer search engine works. Just type in a question you have, just as you would ask a teacher or friend. Notice that if it knows the answer it will list it here. If not, it will suggest other questions for which it does know the answers. You can ask a different question or try rewording the same question a little differently. You could also click on one of the questions that it does know the answer to. Pros: - Easy to use, as it is the way we normally talk and write - “Kid” friendly safe information - Just a few web sites are returned as answers to your question. This is good because it is fast and easy. Cons: - Doesn’t always have what you want (limited answers) - Can be difficult to find what you want, easy to get off topic. The third type of search engine is a keyword search engine. This where you type in a word or two that describe what it is you want to know more about. A popular example is: Google www.google.ca This is how a keyword search engine works. This is where you need to type in a word or two that describe what it is you want to know. By searching for the word planets you would see results like this. Notice also the large number of results for your search. The other lessons will show you how to narrow this # down. Notice that it gives you the title as a link (blue and underlined) followed by a short description of what the web site is all about. Let’s review keyword search engines Pros: - Can be easy to use, just type and go - Information from all around the world on almost every topic - Find pictures too, not just web pages. - The most advanced type of search engine, can use Boolean Logic. Cons: - Not always safe or true information -Too many results is frustrating and impossible to visit all the web sites. - You need to have strategies in order to use it properly These strategies will be explained in Lesson 3, 4, 5 and 6. Let’s review the three types of search engines. Subject Whole Keyword Directory Language Search URL www.kidsclick.com www.askforkids.com www.google.ca address OR www.yahooligans.com Organized by topics Ask a question just Type in a word or two How it and themes, look as you would a about what you want works under headings for the topic you want by a teacher or friend. information on. It returns results click of the mouse. matching what you asked for. An easy to read, fast Quick, easy and safe Huge amounts of Benefits and safe way to find way to find fast Information on all information specific to answers to your topics including your topic.. question. pictures. Remember: • We covered three types of search engines each with their own pros and cons. • Using a combination of all of them will make sure you find helpful information. • With practice all of them will get easier to use You are now ready to try it for yourself. Complete the activity sheet for Lesson 2.
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