Archive for August, 2009

Improving Search Engine Skills: Tips & Resources

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Getting to Know Google Better

When using search engines, most educators and students use Google most frequently. There are lots of ways to get to know Google even better, and to apply those skills to your use of other search engines, whose value shouldn’t be underestimated.

The Web site Virtual Technology Teacher is a great place to start learning more about how search engines work. The man behind the site is Jeremy Davis, an instructional technology coordinator based in California who has previously worked as a technology teacher and trainer. He hosts several free videos on his site, including one called “Advanced Google Searching.” You can watch the video in your browser and take advantage of all the nooks and crannies of Google that will help make searching easier and more rewarding.

Alternatives to Google: A Crash Course

In our research at findingDulcinea, our preferred search engine for educational purposes is our very own, SweetSearch, which you can use right from this site. But before we launched SweetSearch, we became converts of a site called Zuula, which allows you to see search results from about a dozen different search engines. Just tab over from one to the next to compare results and uncover links you might not find in your favorite search engines.

We also like what Hakia is doing. Hakia claims to have “invented the categorized search,” and indeed, your search results will be organized into sections, so instead of just seeing all kinds of random links about your search query, you see sections called “Headline News,” “News and Interviews,” “Biography,” and so forth.

More Tips and Resources

The “How Search Engines Work” section of our Guide to Web Search has advice on how to use—and improve your use of—search engines, and links to tutorials and other publications from organizations like the ALA that are catered to students, parents and educators.

Related Link Resources
Zuula
Guide to Web Search
Virtual Technology Teacher