iamliterate - search

Overview of Searching

Learning to Another Great starting point to learn about searching is Google searching for: Bernie Dodge Four Nets
or click http://webquest.sdsu.edu/searching/fournets.htm
There is a series of sample searches to explore searching techniques and how they impact your query.

Searching has almost become synonymous with 'Googling.' While many people has Google as their default search engine either as a default browser page or a search toolbar in the browser, no one search engine is the best tool for everything all the time.

You may want to use other search engines as they each search slightly differently and appropriate for different audiences.
Yahoo for 'Atlantis -Shuttle' 20,700 000
Google for 'Atlantis -Shuttle' 3,335,000
AltaVista for 'Atlantis -Shuttle' 20,800,000
Yahooligans for 'Atlantis -Shuttle' 220

If I am asking students to investigate the lost continent of Atlantis, Yahooligans is likely a better starting point than any of the others.
(For students searching, I might start at http://www.tekmom.com/ instead of just Google)
(For students searching for images, I would try www.pics4learning.com before using Google Images)

(Don't forget that Google is much more than a simple search engine. You also have access to:
Google Docs
Google Spreadsheet
Google Earth
Google Sketchup
Google Labs
Click the More link above the search box or click here to see more Google features

Preparing your search and refining your search

Before you or your students start to search, you need to do some preparation.
Here is a list of ideas to help prepare for better searching:
  1. Define your topic of research. What is the question you are trying to answer? Writing it down can help to clarify the topic in your mind.
  2. Create a list of sources. Do you have online resources in mind? What print, periodical, video, sound or digital resources might be useful.
  3. Read a portion of a resource to gain background knowledge.
  4. Identify keywords. What words relate to answering your question?
  5. Consider synonyms and variations of your keywords
  6. Conduct your initial search. Is your search narrow or broad enough?
  7. Refine your search using new keywords from your initial search.
  8. Evaluate if you have answered the original questions. Can you refine your questions further