Friday, July 03, 2009

Search Like an Expert: New Google Search Lessons Unveiled at NECC 2009

Released at NECC 2009  are a new series of education friendly lessons .  

Looking for something? First stop might be the Google search box. Becoming a skillful searcher is an essential skill for teachers and students in our media rich environments. The search box provides abundant amounts of information quickly at our fingertips. So, how do you use the Google search box to get just the right amount of information, analyze it for authenticity, and get it quickly? The new Google Search Lessons are aimed at helping teachers and students learn the inside scoop about skillful searching.

Check out nine compelling and practical lessons for students to understand and be successful with the Google search process. The lessons are divided into three modules; Understanding Search Engines, Search Techniques and Strategies, and Search Features. Each topic contains three lessons that build on the skills taught in the previous lesson. Teachers can mix and match lessons depending on the skills they want to emphasize. The lessons provide a guide for teachers, inquiry questions, a slide presentation, and search challenges for students.

Web search can be a remarkable research tool for students - and we've heard from educators that they could use some help to teach better search skills in their classroom. Search lesson authors are three Google Certified teachers Lucy Gray, Cheryl Davis, and Kathleen Ferenz. They used the work of Dan Russell, Senior Research Scientist, Search Quality & User Happiness at Google to organize and determine the search content and the domains of search.

The lessons are short, modular and not specific to any discipline so you can mix and match to what best fits the needs of your classroom. Additionally, all lessons come with a companion set of slides (and some with additional resources) to help you guide your in-class discussions.

Module A: Understanding Search Engines

Understanding the fundamentals of how search engines work will help your students become better searchers. This module starts with basic concepts and concludes with something that educators overwhelmingly asked us to cover: teaching students how to judge search results and validate the authority of sources they use

  1. Start your engines (Basic) 
    Web 101; search engines overview; online content that is indexed and searched.

  2. Which link should I follow? (Intermediate) 
    How Google search works; anatomy of a search results page.

  3. Believe it or not (Advanced)
  4. Validating site authority; taking a research stance when using a search engine.

Module B: Web Search Technique and Strategies

Search is easy but some practice and technique will take your students a long way. This module will help you teach basic tips and tricks and conclude with methods to deal with even the most challenging searches.

  1. The Keys to Search City (Basic) 
    How to organize and approach a search. 

  2. Your search toolbox (Intermediate) 
    Best practices for keyword selection and use of search operators.

  3. The advanced search squad (Advanced) 
    Different types of content indexed by Google; using it to address search challenges.

Module C: Google Web Search Features

We are constantly trying to improve search and making Google more useful. Help your students take full advantage of Google's search technology with a solid understanding of its features and functionality.

  1. Start Out (Basic)
    Every day search features, tips and tricks. 

  2. Step Up (Intermediate)
    Using Google's search options, Advanced Search and operators. 

  3. On Top (Advanced)
    Taking advantage of language tools; experimental features and more.  

More resources: 

Use these lessons in your classroom. Post your thoughts, ideas, and ways in which you use them. We want to hear from you.