On Monday, I read fellow-blogger Michael Gorman‘s piece about 10 Google tricks and tips for better searches. It was pretty good, so I figured that I would make up a slide show that would review these tips for my students. They likely knew all of them, anyway, I thought. They’re smart kids. Why would they need this? They’ve attended the class on library research and Internet research. This will be a wasted class….
But. I had a new iPad and I wanted to test the workflow of Keynote between Safari and other programs. I wanted to try out some techniques. So I made the slideshow. And then I showed it in class. And then another class. And then a group of students hanging around in the library. And then a group of teachers.
Why did I keep showing it?
Because it was new information to most of them, students and teachers alike. They didn’t know that if you put quotes around a “search phrase” it will search for that specific phrase. Or tat a minus sign (-) will remove implied search terms from the list of searches. Or that you can reduce the numbers of shopping-related terms. Or that you can arrange terms on a timeline. Or as a web. Or that you can search for related: terms or get Google to define: terms for you or find out how many sites link:URL to an address.
Nobody is a digital native. Nobody is born naturally knowing this stuff. If you assume that kids know much more about technology than you do, or you are afraid they will show you up — think again. Chances are, just introducing a group of students to the ways they can expand and deepen their use of Google as a search tool will deeply empower them and their ability to find and relate to information.
So here’s the slideshow. Hope that it’s useful to you and your students. And most of all, remember: They may not know it yet!