After an evening of learning, one thing was abundantly clear: we need to teach our students how to search! Do you have students who insist on typing their entire question into the Google search bar? Do they even include the question mark? Or do they just go straight to Wikipedia? [Not that there's anything wrong with that...as a starting point.]
So I'm adding to my summer to-do list creating a lesson or two for my seventh graders on how to search the web. Fortunately, Google already has some lessons created that we can all use as a jumping off point.
- Google for Educators - Classroom Posters
- Google Librarian Central - Tools (I like giving my students the bookmark to use as a reference tool throughout the year)
- Before you type anything, think about what you would expect to find on the site you're looking for. Choose keywords that might appear on that site.
- In choosing keywords to search with, start with the simplest terms. If that doesn't get you the results you were looking for, try using synonyms of your search terms.
- Try using specific terms if you know them, but be sure you've got the words right or you could be sending yourself on a wild goose chase.
As many cool tips as we learned that evening, I think the biggest reaction from the class came when we discovered this:
That's right! You can now search for recipes! Not only that, but you can narrow your search down based on ingredients, cooking time or calorie count.
Move over, Betty Crocker! Here comes Google!!