Google + by yaofenji


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              Beyond Google
          Fifteen tools and strategies for helping students (and your colleagues) to
                explore the web beyond the first two pages of Google results. 	                                                                                                         

Teaching Tools              Secrets of Google           Firefox Add-ons                Kid-safe Search           Real-time Search             About the Author
Resources for               Google has some             These handy little             Parents and               Check out these              Did you enjoy this
teaching students           built-in features           Firefox (and IE)               teachers worried          search engines               resource? Want to
how to use operator         that many people            add-ons can speed-             about their children      designed to bring            know more?
words and how to            never utilize.              up and improve                 stumbling upon            you the most                 Contact the author,
alter their search          Discover these              your Internet                  inappropriate             current and                  Richard Byrne.
terms.                      features to improve         searches.                      materials will want       popular links.               Page 7
                            your search                 Page 4                         to try these search       Page 6
Page 2
                            experience.                                                environments.
                            Page 3                                                     Page 5

                                                                                                              When given a research assignment
                                                                                                              the place where most students start
                                                                                                              their research is on Google.
                                                                                                              Unfortunately, many students will
                                                                                                              never look beyond the first page or
                                                                                                              two of results. They may try to alter
                                                                                                              their search terms, but if a student
                                                                                                              hasn’t been taught the proper
                                                                                                              techniques, they will often end up
                                                                                                              seeing the same links over and over
                                                                                                              again. The tools and techniques
                                                                                                              outlined in the following pages will
                                                                                                              help you help your students
                                                                                                              improve their Internet search

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     Teaching Internet Search Strategies
                   Resources teachers can use to teach internet search strategies.

The Boolify Project

The Boolify Project is a simple                           The Boolean Machine                                     Common Craft Videos
jigsaw game that teaches students                         Rockwell-Schrock's Boolean                              Common Craft produces excellent
the effects of "and," "or," and "not"                     Machine is a simple way to show                         videos that take potentially
on Internet search results.                               students how the terms "and",                           confusing topics and breaks them
                                                          "or", "not" affect the outcome of a                     down into simple terms.
The game is simple enough for                             search.
elementary school students to                                                                Common Craft’s Web Search
benefit from, at the same time the                        The Boolean Machine is a simple    Strategies in Plain English is an
game provides valuable lessons for                        program to use. To use the         excellent video for introducing
high school students. To see the                          Boolean Machine simply hold your students to a variety of Internet
effects of operator words on a                            mouse pointer over each word and search strategies.
search, students drag and drop                            you will see an explanation of how
operator words into the jigsaw                            each operator word affects the     Web Search Strategies in Plain
puzzle.                                                   search.                            English explains how search
                                                                                             engines work, how to pick search
In addition to the Boolify game,                          The Boolean Machine was created words, how to use quotation marks
the Boolify Project has links to                          in part by noted technology        in a search, and how to combine
teaching resources and videos                             integration expert Kathy Schrock. search methods.
explaining the effects of operator
words on Internet search results.   You can find the Boolean Machine You can find the video at http://
You can find The Boolify Project at boolean/

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       Refinement Tools Within Google
        Google offers some excellent search refinement tools that a lot of teachers
           and students don’t take advantage of. These are three of the best.

Related Search                                                                                                    Timeline
Related search is probably the                            Wonder Wheel                                            Google’s Timeline option allows
most obvious search altering                                                                                      users to refine their searches by
                                                          Wonder Wheel is not as easy to
option offered by Google, but                                                                                     the dates referenced in the online
                                                          find as the “related search” option
because the related search terms                                                                                  materials. Timeline displays a
                                                          on Google. To locate Wonder
are usually buried at the bottom of                                                                               chart on which users can click to
                                                          Wheel, click the “more options”
the page, students often don’t click                                                                              find materials referencing a
                                                          link that appears at the top of any
on the options.                                                                                                   particular date or range of dates.
                                                          list of Google results. Wonder
A lot of students when given an                           Wheel is then found in the list on
open-ended research assignment                            the left side of the page.
struggle to pick the right terms to   Wonder Wheel takes the concept
enter into a search. Often once       of web and applies it to search                                             Timeline is particularly useful for
they’ve entered a set of terms,       refinement. Enter any search term                                           history students.
they’re unhappy with the results.     in Wonder Wheel and that term
Direct them to try the related        will appear in the center of the
search terms that are                 web. Each branch of the web                                                 Related to Timeline is a new
automatically generated by            contains a related search term.                                             option for refining search results
Google.                               Click one of those terms and a new                                          by the date on which something
A small tweak in the choice of        web will be generated and linked                                            was posted online. Users can
search terms, particularly a tweet    to the original web. It’s a good way                                        specify that they want results only
of operator words, can yield          for student to learn about                                                  from the last day, week, month,
significantly different results. Each connections between terms.                                                  year, or they can specify a
time students tweaks their search You can see a video of Wonder                                                   particular date or range of dates.
terms, new related search terms                                                                                   Click the “show options” link after
                                      Wheel in action by clicking here.                                           entering your search terms, to find
appear.                               Or visit                                      this option.

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      Firefox Add-ons to Improve Your
              Search Experience
          These Firefox add-ons and bookmarklets can improve your Internet search

Googlepedia                                               Ambiently                                               Cloudlet
Increasingly, I’m seeing students                         Do you remember the old days of                         Cloudlet is a free Firefox extension
start their Internet research on                          doing academic research? You                            that helps users refine Google
Wikipedia before going to Google.                         know, back when to find content                         search results through the use of a
There’s nothing inherently wrong                          related to what you were reading                        tag cloud. Cloudlet takes just a
with that, but often that process                         you looked in the book's                                minute to install. Cloudlet doesn't
yields duplicated information.                            bibliography. Ambiently takes that                      clutter your browser’s toolbar
That’s where Googlepedia can be                           concept and applies it to web                           because it only appears when you
useful.                                                   research.                                               use Google.

Googlepedia is a Firefox add-on      Ambiently is a browser                                                       Cloudlet produces a tag cloud
that allows users to see Google      bookmarklet that allows you to                                               related to your search terms. Once
search results side by side with     quickly find websites related to the                                         you have installed Cloudlet simply
Wikipedia entries. To use            one you're currently viewing. For                                            enter search terms in Google as
Googlepedia simply enter a search    example, if I'm viewing a website                                            you normally would. To refine
term in Google and if there are      about fly fishing in Maine I can                                             your search simply click on any of
matching Wikipedia entries they      click the Ambient Page                                                       the tags in the cloud generated by
will appear on the right hand side   bookmarklet and I will be shown a                                            Cloudlet.
of your browser window.              list of websites that are also about
                                     fly fishing in Maine. Installing                                             You can see a video demonstration
You can find Googlepedia by          Ambiently is a simple matter of                                              of Cloudlet here. http://
clicking here or by searching in the dragging and dropping the                                          
Firefox adds-on directory. This is   Ambient Page bookmarklet to your                                             page=video
the url for Googlepedia: https://    browser's toolbar.                                                           To get Cloudlet click here or enter
                                     Find Ambiently at http://                                                    this url into your browser: http://

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     Kid-Friendly Search Environments
               Three places designed to provide children and families with a safe and
                           appropriate Internet searching environment.

Kido’z                                                    KidRex                                                  Quintura for Kids
The user interface of Kido'z is                           KidRex is a kid-safe search engine                      Quintura for Kids is a visual search
designed to be used by children as                        powered by Google custom search.                        engine designed for kids. Quintura
young as three. Children can                              KidRex uses a combination of                            uses a combination of icons and
navigate Kido'z using kid-friendly                        Google's safe search mode and                           text to provide students with an
icons. Kido'z tries to make content                       their own database of filtered                          easy way to search for information
easy to find by dividing it into                          keywords, phrases, and websites to                      on the Internet. By placing their
three categories games, videos,                           provide a family friendly search                        mouse pointer on a word or
and websites.                                             environment.                                            picture, students will see
                                                                                                                  subcategories from which to select
Kido'z gives parents the power to                         In the event that a questionable
select the websites that their                            website does get past the filters,
children can view. After installing                       KidRex has a site removal request                       With a minimum of direct
Kido'z, parents set an                                    form.                                                   instruction, young students can
administrative password and begin                                                                                 begin searching the web. Quintura
                                                          You can find KidRex at http://
specifying the websites that their                                                                                provides a good platform for
children see.                                                                                                     introducing students to searching
                                                                                                                  for information on the Internet.
If parents are looking for new web
content that their children can                           If you would like to try creating                       You can find Quintura at http://
safely enjoy, Kido'z will offer                           your own kid-safe search engine,              
suggestions based on the age,                             you can do so by using the Google
gender, and native language of the                        Custom Search creator. It’s free
child.                                                    and available to anyone that has a
                                                          Google account. You can find the
You can find Kido’z by pointing
                                                          Google Custom Search Engine
your browser to
                                                          creator at http://

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                           Real-time Search Engines
        Real-time search is the newest category of Internet search. Real-time search
        engines draw results from traditional sources as well as social networks like
         Twitter and social bookmarking sites like Delicious. These search engines
        provide you with the most up-to-date and most discussed items on the web.

Scoopler                                                  One Riot
Scoopler is a search engine that                          OneRiot is a search engine that                         Collecta
allows you to simultaneously                              pulls its search results from                           Collecta is a real-time search
search Delicious, Digg, Twitter,                          Twitter, Digg, and other social                         engine that draws its results from
and Flickr in one place.                                  sharing services.                                       Twitter, YouTube, and various
Using Scoopler is quite simple,                           OneRiot lists search results based                      blogs and news websites.
enter a search term and you'll find                       their current popularity. This                          Like Scoopler and OneRiot,
results from all four of those                            means that search results are                           Collecta is useful for those times
services. Results are sorted into                         based on what are currently the                         when having the most current
two columns, "live" which provides                        most shared and discussed links                         information on a topic is
the most recently shared links and                        rather than all-time rankings. This                     important.
"popular" which is based on the                           is particularly useful if having
number of times a link has been                           current research or current news is
shared.                                                   more important to your Internet
                                                          search than having possibly dated
Scoopler and other real-time                              material.
search engines are good for finding                                                                               Twitter Search
new and popular teaching                                  OneRiot can be a good place for                         A lot of Web 2.0 and social media
resources. For teachers I liken                           students to find and track                              experts claim that Twitter is the
shared bookmarks on the web to                            developments in current news                            first place they go to when they’re
shared lesson plans within a                              stories. OneRiot is also useful for                     looking for information. Even if
school building.                                          students that are searching for the                     you don’t have a Twitter account,
                                                          latest news to include in a report                      you can still search Twitter to see
You can find Scoopler at http://                          about a niche topic in science or                                                                                                      what people are talking about and
                                                          economics.                                              to see the links they’re sharing. To
                                                          Check out OneRiot at http://                            do this visit http://

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                Explanations and Disclaimers
      This guide is by no means a comprehensive list of every Internet search strategy. Nor does
      it list every search engine. Most notably Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo’s search engine were
      left out of the discussion. This decision was based on data from Compete and TechCrunch
      indicating that Google’s market share of searches was near 65% at the end of 2008 and has
      since increased. Also of note, this guide did not include Wolfram Alpha which is a very
      promising alternative to Google, but is yet to grab significant market share.

      The decisions to include these tools were entirely my own. I do not have any affiliations,
      financial or otherwise, with any of the companies whose services are mentioned in this

About the Author                                                                                        Contact the Author
                        Richard Byrne is a high school social studies                                   Email: richardbyrne (at)
                        teacher in a Maine public high school.
                                                                                                        Phone: 1-207-890-6922
              Richard is the author of Free Technology for
              Teachers a blog that has a daily readership of                                            Twitter:
              13,000+ subscribers. In 2008, Free
              Technology for Teachers was awarded an                                                    FriendFeed:
EduBlogs award for the best resource sharing blog.
Richard is available to facilitate professional development
workshops for your school or organization. In the past he has
facilitated workshops for public schools and presented at state
and national conferences.
To learn more about Richard, please visit:

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