Researching on the Web.png

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Tips for Internet Searching & Research
4 March 09

Quick tips and a useful resource to make searching or "googling" and finding the resource you want easier plus a useful 3 step approach to helping your students 'digest' the information they gather from their Internet searches & research.


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Searching in the Classroom:
  • This page has classroom posters made by Google on researching and searching on the web - two of these posters showcased at this morning's techie brekie are also there for downloading.



A 3 Step approach for students to assist in the 'digesting' the information gained from research:

SURF:surf.png

  • When we surf something we skim the top very quickly.
  • We need to decide whether the information that we have found/gathered is relevant.
  • Tips: Look for: Key words and phrases, BOLD Lettering, Underlined Text, Italics, Headings and sub-headings.


SLURP: slurp.png

  • When we slurp a drink we take a big mouthful.
  • When we have discovered that our research information is worthwhile, we slurp it!
  • We read our information really carefully to get the BIG PICTURE.
  • TIPS: Read the information carefully first then re-read it and take key notes
    (What Thinking Maps could you use?)


SUMMARISE:

  • summarise.pngWhen we summarise something we cut is down in size.
  • We write it in our own words to suit the purpose of our work.
  • We are not allowed to copy text out of books, the internet or any other source and claim that it is our own - this is called plagiarism!
  • TIPS: Record all of your sources, (Internet sites, books titles, and all other sources). Remember to validate your information from 3 sources (this is called triangular validation).


Poster Downloads:



(many thanks to facilitator Sara Taylor for her generous sharing of these resources)

Googling the Web



Googling_Yourself.gifTop tips for teachers and students to be able to 'google' effectively to get the best most relevant information. Pick up tips and tricks that you can teach your class so they get better search results for their inquiry topics.

  • Capitalisation - Google searches are NOT case sensitive, this means ALL letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for helen clark, Helen Clark, and HeLeN cLaRk will all return the same results.

  • No need to include "and" - Google only returns pages that include your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms. Keep in mind that the order in which the terms are typed will affect the search results.

  • Only search using the keywords - Google excludes common words (also called stop words) like “I” , “the” etc from its search even if you type them in, (unless you add a + sign in front - see below).

  • Using Quotation Marks - use these if you want to search for an exact phrase or a name. For example "Chelsea Sugar" will only find pages that contain the exact phrase not pages containing only Chelsea or Sugar. Quotation marks are very effective for searching for proper names, eg "John Key".

  • Use operators to refine your search - use * to make a search more generic, use + to add a common word, use - to leave a word. For example type nz exports +to * -china will show pages about NZ exports to places excluding China.

  • Search a specific site or group of sites - use "site:<site name>" if you want to search for all matches to a phrase within a site. For example typing in molasses site:chelsea.co.nz will give you lots of pages on molasses only from the Chelsea refinery site. To search a group of sites, use site:group. For example site:school.nz will search NZ school sites. Typing in site:school.* will search school sites from multiple countries (with NZ sites first).

  • To get a definition - use "define:" if you want to get a quick definition of a word. For example typing in define:blogging will give you lots of different definitions from different sources with links.

  • Tackling US and UK spellings - use the term "OR" (must be in capital letters) to get information based on two different spellings (eg US and UK English). For example searching for "doughnut OR donut" will return results with both types of spellings.

  • To search using number ranges - use ".." between the numbers (two . For example cameras $100..$500 will return pages with the word camera plus a dollar figure between $100 and $500.

  • To search recently changed pages - click on advanced search to the right of the search button. Then scroll down till you see date, usage rights, numeric ranges and more, click + next to this and then from the date box choose between past 24 hours, past week, past month or past year.

  • Use google as a calculator - just type the expression into the search bar to return the answer.


KEEN?
This page from Google can help you learn more
This page is one of the most comprehensive around - it will really help you google in an advanced way!!