Searching!

(Excerpt from a hybrid training titled "The Beginning.")

Effectively searching for and determining the validity and accuracy of information is a 21st century literacy skill that we need to be teaching our students.  But, that’s a training for another day!  :)

For Part 2 of this course, we will be investigating ways to effectively search for resources to help us integrate technology in our classrooms.  We will learn more about search engines, basic and advanced search strategies, and I’ll share lots of online resource banks filled with lessons, ideas, and strategies so that you can use technology as a tool with your students!

To begin, let’s explore the design and function of a search engine.  The first video we’ll view is specific to Google’s search engine, but it is a good overview of the basics of how any search engine works.

Common Craft is a company that creates short video explanations of various topics.  Their “Web Search Strategies” video is a simple explanation of how to search the web via a search engine.

Web Search Strategies in Plain English
http://www.commoncraft.com/video/web-search-strategies

There are many search engines out there, and they offer a variety of options for searching and receiving results.  We will be looking at search strategies for the most popular search engine, Google.  Explore the resources below to learn basic (and some advanced) features and functionality of a Google search.

Google for Educators – Search basics
http://www.google.com/educators/p_searchbasics.html

Google Web Search – Classroom Lessons and Resources
http://www.google.com/educators/p_websearch.html

Google for Educators: Classroom Posters
http://www.google.com/educators/posters.html

Interactive tool to practice using Boolean logic in a search:

Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking is an online tool that allows you to save your favorite links and share them with others.  If you are unfamiliar with social bookmarking, view the Common Craft video explanation:

Social Bookmarking in Plain English
http://www.commoncraft.com/video/social-bookmarking

Two very popular social bookmarking sites are Diigo and Delicious.  You may want to consider using these sites as search engines to find educational and edtech resources.  If you create a free account on one of these sites, you can add other users to your network.  Then you can even search the links saved by those in your network.  You can save searching time by letting your network look for great resources!

Other related resources

Interactive Research Information Online Tutorial:  Rutger’s Riot
http://clients.kognito.com//rutgers/infolit/

Once you are familiar with some search strategies, try looking for some educational and instructional technology resources.

Below are some sites that contain lots of resources.  Spend some time exploring these (or explore sites from your own searches).  Just as I mentioned in Part 1, this list is not all-inclusive.  It is just a sampling of online resources! 

There is an abundance of educational blogs on the web!  Some teachers create blogs to use as their communication tool between the classroom and home.  Others create a blog to share resources with other educators.  And, of course, there are lots of blogs that cover topics of educational philosophy, research, and reform. 

I follow over 500 blogs in my Google Reader account, and while they all are not specific to education, there are some fantastic educational blogs that I check often for updates because they are filled with lots of great resources. 

Here are some links to various educational blogs, including some blogs that I follow.  While you are exploring these resources, you may want to look at the sidebar(s) on the blog.  Blog authors often keep a “blogroll” of blogs they follow.  Some of the best resource blogs I’ve found have been from these blogrolls!    (There are also some blog links I highlighted in Part 1 that you may want to explore as well.)

Larry Ferlazzo’s – “best of” website lists
http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/about/websites-of-the-year/

Speed of Creativity – Education blogs
http://www.speedofcreativity.org/resources/education-blogs/

Jane’s Pick of the Day
http://janeknight.typepad.com/pick/

Dangerously Irrelevant
http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/

Moving at the Speed of Creativity
http://www.speedofcreativity.org/

There are lots of resources online that provide great lesson plans.  (Some of the links below are not specifically for technology-integrated lessons.)

Thinkfinity Lesson Plans
http://thinkfinity.org/lesson-plans

There are so many FREE educational streaming video libraries online! 

Using an interactive website with students (independently, small/large group or whole class) can provide an engaging environment for learning.  Often, interactive sites can provide student choice and immediate feedback.

My interactive links (narrow your search by clicking keyword(s) from the right-hand sidebar)
http://delicious.com/murraygirl/interactive

Internet 4 Classrooms – Grade level links
http://www.internet4classrooms.com/k12links.htm

eNLVM – Interactive Online Math Lessons
http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/index.jsp

These links have multiple resources (i.e. lessons, interactives, videos). 

BBC Schools – Teachers site
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/teachers/

Free Educational Resources
http://free.ed.gov/

The National Science Digital Library
http://nsdl.org/

Teachers’ Domain
http://www.teachersdomain.org/

Library of Congress Classroom Materials
http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/#

Donna’s Presentations and Related Links
http://navigatepd.blogspot.com/  

Software and Tutorials



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