Monday, January 5, 2009

Google your way to deeper learning!

Many teachers are frustrated with the prevalence of as a research tool for students.  Usually there are two major problems with student googling their research topic.  The first problem is finding too much stuff, either there are way more results than you can ever get through or the information reveals much more than you want for your 3rd graders.  The second problem is not finding enough.  Not finding enough reputable and unique information that can contribute to a unique project or learning opportunity.

Luckily Google has two solutions to solve this problem of doing an open Google search.  Of course there are other alternatives to using Google, being my favorite.  But if you want some other options Google provides these two tools to really help.

  • Google Books:  Google Books allows searching of the text of thousands and thousands of digitized books.  Many books are not available in their full version and other projects are working on the same thing, but Google Books is nice because it does integrate with other Google tools you may already use.  You can save books, search the full text, even read entire books that are in the public domain.  I found an obscure Horatio Alger book that I read entirely online.  The pic below is an example of the book I read.

    [caption id="attachment_116" align="aligncenter" width="390" caption="google book search"]google book search[/caption]

  • Google Scholar: Google scholar allows you to search topics with less likelihood of poor quality results.  For example a search for 'teens online' didn't yield anything like the results might have on an open Google search. The result returned the list below.  Much better than what I would have gotten just googling 'teens online'.

    [caption id="attachment_115" align="aligncenter" width="390" caption="google scholar results for teens online"][/caption]

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