Safe Searching vs. Surfing
Students must learn the difference between keyword searching, topical or subject directories, and meta-search engines. Too often, students rely on keyword search engines, such as Google or Yahoo, to locate resources. There are better options!
Keyword searching is a "free for all", going out web wide to create an index of sites. Using a topical or subject directory is like attending a juried craft show - the crafts at the show were well liked by the judges, so they judges included them in the show! Meta-searches look in multiple search engines.
For the most reliable search, utilize a topical or subject directory, such as an educational database.
1. START HERE....Keyword Search Engines:
Content is not inputted by people, but rather a comuter program called a crawler or spider that travels the Web searching for sites and adds the links to an index.
Now would be a good time to describe BOOLEAN searching, and the uses of AND, OR, NOT, or =,+, etc. terms.
For further information, presentations, and tips/tricks about advanced searching using Google, check out the Google Educator resources.
2. NEXT ....TO A META SEARCH ENGINE
3. SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST ...TO AN EDUCATIONAL DATABASE FILLED WITH VALID AND RELIABLE SOURCES
Topical or Subject Directories: People have visited and evaluated the content before additing it into the searchable database. Words and phrases have been selected to describe these sites. Information is hierarchical in nature, and ranked by relevance.
Educational Databases such as the General One File, Academic One File, ERIC database, or General Reference Center Gold are great resources of valid and reliable information.
Sites aligned to curriculum standards to support any lesson free through the Michigan eLibrary.
Michigan Educators LearnPort login: Nettrekker
Sites aligned to curriculum standards to support any lesson. Obtain a login at learnport.org, and utilize the Resources tab to access Nettrekker.