Jeff Utecht's workshop on Power Searching really brought me deeper into the number one skill that all web users should have - to SEARCH ! In the fast changing world today , information is not getting less - it grows more and more every second!
At the beginning of the workshop, Jeff had us work into small teams to answer questions from A Google A Day . A Google A Day is a puzzle game activity created by google which allows for users to think critically and hone their search skills while finding answers to different questions on the site . Some of us progressed into the next questions but most of us were stuck trying to find answers . After the activity, we came together and reflected on what skills we thought people needed in order to do a search- and these are what everyone came up with:
SKILLS WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO SEARCH
1. basic computer use
3. picking out key words
5. knowing google.com
6. copy paste
7. right click
8. new tab
9. boolean search terms
11. approximate spelling
12. critical thinking
13. Understand the question
14. Evaluation : credibility of a site , search page,
15. Guess and Check
Then came the BIG Question: In today's integration model, Where are we teaching these skills our curriculum ?
There is a big difference between searching for information and just simply finding information. Here are some power user tips that teachers can use to help their students search for information better :
For K-3 :
1.Anytime teachers do a search on the internet, show kids the process of searching on the screen.
2. Always identify the ADS on a website so the kids understand where NOT to click.
1. HW: GoogleADay.com – ask questions that makes kids think deeper than the first 4 results shown on the web
2. Remind students that Wikipedia resources can be a good START for their research . Explain the blue hyperlinks on the page and explain that it leads them to more resources.
3. Use boolean search terms - using OR, AND, NOT
4. Use Domain Extensions by country for more specific searches to teach kids perspective.
Example : Search on Effects of migration on students
for government sites: (Philippines) Effects of migration on students site:gov.ph
for education sites : (Philippines) Effects of migration on students site:edu,ph
5. Ask students to give relevant and recent information, at least within the last 18 months.
6. Teach students the reading level features in Google Search Tools
7. Use 15 minute FLIP teaching while doing a class search - teachers ask a question then give students 15 minutes to search for answers and share .
Technology allows us to be social with kids in a way we’ve never done before. Let us all work together in helping students and colleagues understand the importance of searching using critical thinking skills !