Tag Archives: google

Part 3 … Amazing And Valuable Techniques Using Google Advanced Search

Welcome to the third post in my  Googal In Google Series giving an in depth view of the Google Advanced Search Engine. In this third of a three part posting, I will cover some great techniques many people do not know or seldom use in the Google Advanced Search As always,  feel free to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email, follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), and also discover some great resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  You will also find my other postings at Tech and Learning Magazine. Also please mark November 30, at 7PM on your calendar. I will be presenting a free webinar about MIT’s free program, Scratch, in conjunction with Discovery Education. Please click here to learn even more! Now let’s advance our knowledge and uncover even more great techniques in using the Google Advanced Search!  Have a great week – Mike

I sure hope you enjoyed the other three posts in this Google Search Series. If you missed them then check out the links below.

Ten Items All Should Know When Using Google Basic Search…. Far From Basic!

Part 1… The Google Advanced Search.. Basic Student Skills And Learning


Part 2 … The Google Advanced Search.. Uncover Awesome Searching Secrets For Teaching And Learning

This is the third in a series of articles on the Google Advanced Search. In this post I wish to cover that part of the advanced search you see when clicking on the blue highlighted area called Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more. You will find a host of valuable tools to help make any search, even better.

Date (How Recent The Page Is)

This is very valuable for finding timely information. Students looking up a current event or news breaking story may want to use this feature. Remember, the default is (anytime). It is also a great way to emphasize whether currency of information is relevant to the research topic.

Usage Rights

This is a goal mine for those wishing to use, share, modify, or remix information.  Also, a great way to teach students about copyright and creative commons rights. It is important to observe the rules governing how an item may be shared, and to make students aware of this. This is especially helpful when searching for pictures in the Advanced Image Search. It allows the user to search for pictures that can be used in their own publications. Please note that even with permission the creator of any material should always be credited.

Where Your Keywords Show Up

This is a tool that can be real useful in narrowing down results. First, the default is (Anywhere In Page).  This includes all the possibilities, but may actually be to broad in scope. When getting a large number of returns, one could narrow down returns by requesting that keywords be listed in title. This will narrow the search and possibly lead users to a more specific subject, since keywords in a title tend to emphasize content in an article. In the same way, URL and Links to a page may lead the researcher to a more specific and relevant information.

Region

This is one of my very favorite tools in the Advanced Search. This is a great way to teach students about bias and regional differences. This part of the search engine allows the student to look up web pages published in a specific region or country. This technique is great for current event, allowing the searcher to get information from the country of origin. A teacher should encourage students to compare and contrast the same news story coming from two different areas or regions. Students can study a subject, such as the American Revolution, from a British, French, Russian, or United States perceptive. What is Russia’s take on the Space Race,  Cuba’s thought’s on the Bay of Pigs, or China’s research on Global Warming?  This really is a  tool that a teacher can build a unit around and is very valuable for teaching 21st Century skills.

Numeric Range

Perhaps a researcher wishes to search between a set number of years, such as 1800-1900. Specifying a dollar amount such as $250 – $500 or searching for a distance range 10 miles – 100 miles could be valuable in finding needed information. A student may even wish to look  up a range of page numbers. These are just some of the ways that numeric range can be used in an Advanced Search.

SafeSearch

As the name implies, Google attempts to determine the integrity of a web site. If a website is considered unacceptable Google will not list it. This is a good tool to have turned on for students at both school and home.

Page Specific Tools

These are both very useful tools. A user that really finds a particular site useful may want to enter that pages’s URL into the Find Pages Similar To The Page line. This may lead to other sites that provide needed research information.

Using the Find Pages That Link To The Page may also lead the user to other useful sites. This Link To The Page tool can also be used to evaluate a website by determining the number, and type of pages linking to it. In fact, I teach people to use Find Pages That Link To The Page when evaluating Web Pages using what I call  Good Links.  (Starting with a space before entering the address in the Find Pages That Link To The Page form  will yield different and sometimes better results)  You can also learn more about web evaluation in my upcoming Evaluating a Web Page Series. I am certain it will be a series you will want to share with your students and other teachers.

Thanks for joining me in this third article uncovering the Google Advanced Search. Feel free to print this and use it with your students. Please share this posting URL with other educators and encourage them to subscribe!  Prepare yourself for my Evaluating a Web Page Series which I promise will be a hit. Please take a moment to comment and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email, share with others, and as always follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please remember to join me at Discovery Education for my webinar entitled Learn, Create, and Innovate with Scratch. Until next time… transform, educate, and inspire! – Mike

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Part 2 … The Google Advanced Search.. Uncover Awesome Searching Secrets For Teaching And Learning

Welcome to the second post in my  Googal In Google Series giving an in depth view of the Google Advanced Search Engine. In this second of a three part posting, I will cover some great techniques many people do not know or seldom use in the Google Advanced Search As always,  feel free to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email, follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), and also discover some great resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  You will also find my other postings at Tech and Learning Magazine. Also please mark November 30, at 7PM on your calendar. I will be presenting a free webinar about MIT’s free program, Scratch, in conjunction with Discovery Education. Please click here to learn even more! Now let’s advance our knowledge in using the Google Advanced Search!  Have a great week – Mike

In the last posting we checked out some of those tools that can be used in the Advanced Search to teach students how to better use the basic search. That’s right, use an advanced tool in order to simplify the basic. If I got your interest, then check out the last post.  In this post, I will cover four important tools that will provide students more focused research, and teachers amazing new resources… read on! I am sure you may discover some interesting ways to implement these valuable techniques. I will introduce these resources one tool at a time.

Results Per Page

OK, no big deal but by using this tool you will have less need to hit the enter button.  You may find yourself using the scroll down just a little more. Please note in the image below that you are allowed up to 100 results a page.

Language

Time to get a little more interesting. Perhaps you want to find an article or website written in a foreign language. Perfect fit if you are teaching foreign language or social studies. Note that there is a drop down menu that allows you to scroll, revealing over 45 languages.

This really can be a lot of fun. For instance, I look up Apple Computer in Simple Chinese.  I get pretty awesome results as displayed below. Notice that I can even translate the pages. This allows me to get a primary source of a current event, or even past events, right from the area of origin.. I may not understand the language, but I can translate it back to English! Think of the lessons that could incorporate this idea involving relevancy and engagement for twenty-first century learners.

Also note that when landing on a foreign language page there is often a language translation tool at the top. As a side note, Google provides a great Language Tool in fine print next to the Google Basic Search EngineTake a look!

File Type

This is one of my personal favorites in the Google Advanced Search. In a typical search Google is finding HTML Web Pages. Some of the real neat stuff is buried hundreds of pages beyond those first pages of returns. This includes files such as Power Points, Google Earth Files, PDF Files, Excel Spreadsheets, Word Documents, and even Flash Files!

Looking for a great educational Power Point on Mars… enter Mars in the search box and select Microsoft Powerpoint (.ppt) as the File Type. Your return pages will be Power Points that have something to do with Mars. How about a 3d Journey of Rome using Google Earth? Enter Rome 3D in the Search Box and Google Earth KML or KMZ in the File Type Box! Not only will this method help your students, it will also allow you to find some pretty awesome resources to engage students in their learning!

Search Within A Domain Or Site

This is a very valuable tool in helping narrow down a topic and drill down within a domain or site. By putting in a domain name, the search will be limited to only sites within that domain. Perhaps information such as state populations maybe best found in a government doc.  Then the domain gov would be put in this Search Within box. Domains can lead the searcher to areas that they feel may be most reliable or supply information that compliments their research.


Domains include: gov – government, org – organization, com – commercial enterprises, int – international, edu – higher education, k12 – public schools, mil – military

The Search Within also allows the user to specify a web site to search, including all the pages within that web site. An example may be searching for moon exploration. In this case the user may place nasa.gov in the Search Within box. Perhaps a video at Youtube would require the searcher to put youtube.com in the Search Within box.

Combining Advanced Search Techniques

The image above represents a search that  has been constructed to find an Excel Document from the US Census Department in regards to state populations. This would require the Exact Phrase state population, with a File Type of (Microsoft Excel .xls), and a search within of http://www.census.gov. Your return may look much like this. See image below.

As you can see, there is so much we can teach our students about finding valuable resources on the internet. The tools in the Advanced Google Search allow students to not just find valuable materials, but to engage in a reflective thinking process necessary for proper research. The Google Advanced Search really does provide an avenue to go beyond the searching basics by providing students a resource to not just retrieve great information, but learn how to find it along the way!

Thanks for joining me in this second article uncovering the Google Advanced Search. Feel free to print this and use it with your students. Please share this posting URL with other educators and encourage them to subscribe! Be on the lookout for my next Google Advanced  Search Post that will take advanced searching one step further. Also prepare yourself for my Evaluating a Web Page Series. Please take a moment to comment and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email, share with others, and as always follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please remember to join me at Discovery Education for my webinar entitled Learn, Create, and Innovate with Scratch. Until next time… transform, educate, and inspire! – Mike

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Part 1… The Google Advanced Search.. Basic Student Skills And Learning

Welcome to another post that is a new entry in my Googal In Google Series. In fact, I was ecstatic about the enthusiastic responses from my  Ten Items All Should Know When Using Google Basic Search… Far From Basic posting. (If you didn’t see it, give it a click.) In this first of a three part posting I will cover some great things to know about Google Advanced Search. I will even try to convince you that perhaps you will increase student understanding by teaching them to search with the Advanced Search Page! As always,  feel free to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email, follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), and also discover some great resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  You will also find my other postings at Tech and Learning Magazine. Now let’s take a moment and advance to some of the advanced search strategies using Google Advanced Search! – Have a great week – Mike

Many of us never get beyond the Basic Search Page. In fact, if you use the suggestions from my posting Ten Items All Should Know When Using Google Basic Search… Far From Basic,  the Basic Search Engine should serve you and your students well! However, I invite you to take the plunge and prepare yourself and your students to advance in Google. In fact using the Advanced Search Page can actually provide students with a more concrete learning example even before using the Google Commands in a Basic Search. I highly suggest starting students out with the Advanced Search because it can really help in developing this true understanding. As you begin to use it I am sure you will see the point I am trying to make! Getting to the Advanced Search is easy, just click the Advanced Search Text, and you will magically enter a land of extreme, but highly understandable searching! In this first of three articles I will cover the basics of an advanced search. The next two posts will go beyond the basics by explaining tools, ideas, and techniques to use the Advanced Search to its very fullest. First, let’s sees what you encounter after you push the button!

The Advanced Search Part One – The Basics And Student Learning

So you clicked the button! Good for you! At first you will note some choices that help drive home concepts I detailed in Ten Items All Should Know When Using Google Basic Search… Far From Basic. Under the Find Web Pages That Have and the But Don’t Show Pages That Have sections; some important techniques are used that are helpful in finding good web site (see image below). Not only that, the skills learned here are transferable to the basic search page. Starting students with the Advanced Search may help them better understand how to search and make their search much more productive and reliable! Let’s take a look.

Let’s explore the section entitled: Find Web Pages that have…

In this section you will note that there are three areas to enter text. They include;  All these words, This exact wording or phrase, and One or more of these words.


1. All these words – Google looks up all the the words and finds web pages that have all of the words in them. (Note that small words such as articles are omitted – a, the, of, an, as… etc). Google is not concerned with putting these words in order next to each other. It is only concerned that all major words are somewhere in the article. Note that Google never uses the command AND in either the Basic or Advanced Search.

Example – I enter the blue bird of paradise (I did not capitalize anything because Google does not pay attention to upper or lower case) Since the and of are minor common words I might as well have just entered blue bird paradise.

Google will return pages that have blue, bird, and paradise anywhere in them. The words do not have to be together or even close to each other in the site.

2. This exact wording or phrase – Google will look at websites and will return only pages that have the words next to each other in the order stated. This is called a phrase or string and is used with quotes in a basic search. No quotes are needed in the advanced search.

Example: I enter the the blue bird of paradise (I included the and of because it is part of the phrase I am looking for.

Google will return any page that has the blue bird of paradise as a group (or string) of words all together in the same order.

This is a great method for looking up names, books, movies, famous sayings, places, and anything else that may rely on a phrase.

3. One or more of these words – Google will look for web pages that include one or more of the words, but the page does not have to include all of them. This is the same as using OR in a basic search

Example – I enter blue bird paradise. Since the and  of are minor common words I did not include them.

Google will return pages that contain just blue, just bird, or just paradise, and also pages that contain all three. In this way, you will find a common bluebird, and a Blue Bird of Paradise, a bird that flew through through the blue sky, or just a blue sky with no bird.

Now lets explore the section entitled: But Don’t Show Pages That Have

This portion of Advanced Search will prove to be real useful. It is important for students to learn that “Less is More”. The goal is to have less quality web pages that reveal essential information


This is the section that eliminates web pages that may have a word in them that is returning  unnecessary or undesired results in a web search.. The Basic Search engine does this by putting  a minus (- ) in front of the word. In the Advanced Search Engine the words are typed in the But don’t show pages that have … any of these unwanted words section. This is used  in conjunction with the Find Web Pages that have… section that is found above it and discussed earlier. Words must be put in to one of those three sections first ( Three sections are: All these words, This exact wording or phrase, and One or more of these words.)

Example: The below graphic illustrates how the two sections are used together. When searching for the Blue Bird of Paradise, I only want to find information, but was getting too many pages with pictures of the Blue Bird of Paradise. I would use the two sections together in this way:

Another example – I am looking for the country Turkey but do not want to find articles about the bird. (Note that any article about birds in the country Turkey will be eliminated.)

This concludes the very first posting of the Google Advanced Search. Having students practice in this portion of an Advanced Search will help them understand such statements as OR, NOT, AND, and STRING, build the importance of how to properly use the Basic Search Engine, and give them a better understanding of the importance of constructing a well thought out search.

Thanks for joining me in this first article uncovering the Google Advanced Search. Feel free to print this and share it with your students. Please share this posting URL with other educators and encourage them to subscribe! Be on the lookout for my next Google Advanced  Search Post that will reveal some of the real power in a Google Advanced Search. Also prepare yourself for my Evaluating a Web Page Series. You can also find a variety of my postings under Blogs at Tech & Learning Magazine.  Please take a moment to comment and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email, share with others, and as always follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Until next time… transform, educate, and inspire! – Mike

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Ten Items All Should Know When Using Google Basic Search…. Far From Basic!

This is a continuing article in my series “The Googal In Google” This posting will focus on the art of searching using the basic Google search engine. I have tried to include the obvious and the not so obvious techniques. As you look through, I am almost certain you will learn something new.  Please share this article with other educators and students. Just understanding these ten concepts will assist anyone into being a more productive researcher.  As always, please feel free to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will do the same.  Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by email or RSS. I am always finding useful information to share! Let’s begin our search. – Mike

The Basic Search – The Google Basic Search is usually the first place most people begin a search and it is also the last place they end. Many times students just type in some words and get lost in millions of results trying to find an answer. Impressed by the number of hits they get, many times they forget that the art of searching is getting fewer results with relevant answers. I would like to share with you ten important concepts to think about in getting optimal searches from the Google  basic search engine.  Print this off and hand out to others. It really is the very basic in using Google. Please note that the last item includes over twenty basic commands that will really help you and your students be more productive.

Ten Items All Should Know When Using Google Basic Search…. Far From Basic… The Googal In Google!

1. The word And is assumed… Example: red and white and blue is a search for  red white blue

2. Compound Words, Phrases, and Names; use a String (in other words put the words in quotes  “  “…   Example: “George Washington”“Fort Wayne” “to be or not to be” “United States of America” “Star Wars” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

3. Want to eliminate a word: use the Not Command which is a – (minus sign)… Example:  Looking for the country Turkey, but not the bird…  Turkey -bird

4. Capital Letters and articles of speech are ignored unless put  in quotes…  Example: United States of America is treated as united states america but “United States of America” is treated as United States of America

5. The root form of a word looks for all forms of the word… Example: walk = walks, walker, walking, walked

6. Use a tilde (~) to search with other word of similar meaning… Example ~happy searches for happy and synonyms of happy ~large planet (large could be: big, vast, giant, enormous

7. Putting a plus (+) in front of word to keep it exactly as is. This dismisses adding other options to root word… Example:  +walk (only walk: does not inlude walker, walks, walking, walked)

8. Wild Card (*) allows for missing words in a phrase (not missing letters). Forget a word in a title or quote, try a wildcard… Example: “Obama voted on the * on the * bill” Note this is mixed with the string concept.

9. The word OR (in caps) allows two ideas to be reported together… Example: “Indianapolis Colts” 2010 OR 2009

10. Get to know the Google Command Lines. These are useful for quick references in a Basic Google Search. Give them a try and experience the power in narrowing down a search. The list of over twenty starts with some real power suggestions and ends with some everyday useful ideas.

INTITLE – To narrow search by finding web sites that have key word in title you may type the words intitle: followed by word you are searching for (Note no spaces) … Example: intitle:ipad …  Return example

INTEXT – Same as above only it narrows search to only keywords found in text (Note no spaces)… Example intext:ipad … Return example

LINK – This command determines who is linking to a site. Great command to determine credibility and popularity of a site. To use the link command there are no spaces. Type word link: and follow with complete URL (Note if you remember to put no space after the colon you will get true account of active hyper-links, if you use a space you will get hyper-links and text mentions which will be a higher number)…Example link:www.apple.com … Return example

SITE – Found a great site, but you want to then just search in that site.  Perhaps you just want to search government sites or you want to see the Race For The Moon in perspective from Russia. Type in site and with no space follow with web address, domain, or country code. After the address, domain, or country code put in a space and the key word. Perhaps you want iPad information only from apple… Site Example: site:www.apple.com ipad … Return example … Domain Example: site:gov earthquake … Return Example …  County Example: site:ru “moon race… Return Example

FILETYPE – Looking for a great power point, pdf, or word doc. Perhaps a spreadsheet would be helpful. You may need to look up some suffixes to use. Type in the word filetype: and with no spaces put the suffix (in my example I used xls for excel), put in  space and follow with a search term. I have a list for suffixes linked here… Example: filetype:xls h1n1 … Return example

RELATED – Ever find a great site and you want to see if there is more like it. Just type in the word related: and follow with no space and then the web address. You will find an assortment of related pages… Example: related:www.apple.com … Return Example

INFO – Want more information about a site that you like. Interested in cached versions, links to the site, links from the site, other web pages that are simular to, and other places the web site is mentioned on the internet. A great tool for evaluating a web site. All you do is type in the word info: and then follow it with no space, and the web address of the site you wish to know more about… Example: info:www.ted.org … Return Example

CALCULATOR – To use Google’s built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you’d like done into the search box. It even follows the order of operation… Example: 10+9*10 (It multiplies first the adds) … Return Example

SYNONYMS – As mentioned earlier, if you want to search  for your search term and  also for its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your search term (no space)… Example: ~city … Return example

DEFINITIONS – To see a definition for a word or phrase,  type the word “define” then a space, then the word(s) you want defined. To see a list of different definitions from various online sources, you can type “define:” followed by a word or phrase. Note that the results will define the entire phrase… Example: define: computer … Return example

SPELL – Google’s spell checking software automatically checks whether your submission uses the most common spelling of a given word. If Google  thinks you’re likely to generate better results with an alternative spelling, it will ask “Did you mean: (more common spelling)?”. Click the suggested spelling to launch a Google search for that term. Example: pikture … Return example

MEASUREMENT – To use measurement converter put in the measurement you want to convert followed by word to, and then enter desired unit… Example: convert 5280 ft to mi … Return example.

WEATHER – To see the weather for many U.S. and worldwide cities, type “weather” followed by the city and state, U.S. zip code, or city and country… Example: weather “fort wayne” in or weather 46814 or weather “fort wayne” usa … Return Example

STOCKS – To see current market data for a given company or fund, type the ticker symbol into the search box. On the results page, you can click the link to see more data from Google Finance… Example: aapl … Return Example

TIME – To see the time in many cities around the world, type in “time” and the name of the city(Note also sunrise/sunset)… Example:  time “fort wayne” …  Return Example

SPORTS – To see scores and schedules for sports teams type the team name or league name into the search box. This is enabled for many leagues including the National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball… Example: national basketball association … Return Example

LOCAL – When  looking for a store, restaurant, or other local business search for the category of business and the location and Google will  return results right on that page, along with a map, reviews, and contact information. You may have to scroll down to find the local listings in the search returns… Example walmart … Return example

MOVIES – To find reviews and showtimes for movies playing near you, type “movies” or the name of a current film into the Google search box. If you’ve already saved your location on previous search, the top search result will display showtimes for nearby theaters for the movie you’ve chosen, if not enter new location… Example: movie: “diary of a wimpy kid” … Return example

DISEASE  – To see information about a common disease or symptom, enter it into the search box and Google will return the beginning of an expert summary. Click through and read the entire article in Google Health… Example: measles … Return example

FLIGHTS – To see flight status for arriving and departing U.S. flights, type in the name of the airline (abrv work) and the flight number into the search box. You can also see delays at a specific airport by typing in the name of the city or three-letter airport code followed by the word “airport”… Example: austin airport … Return example

PATENTS To get information on patents – enter the word “patent” followed by the patent number into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button… Example: patent 1773980 … Return example

AREA CODE LOCATION – to see the geographical location for any U.S. telephone area code, just type the three-digit area code into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button… Example 260 … Return example

In the future I will provide information you may want to know more about when using the advanced search. Please share with others and as always take a moment to reply, subscribe by email, or RSS. You are always welcome to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans) and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Thanks for taking a moment to learn more about “The Googal in Google”!  Have a great week. – Mike

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The Googal In Google… Google Can Do That? Part One

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What a great week to explore the multiple faces of  Google! I welcome you to investigate and share this post with others. While this first post isn’t quite a googal, it should be enough information to keep everyone satisfied until the next post comes along. Please take a moment to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans), I will follow back and we can learn a googal from each other! Also, please pass this post on to others and  take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email!  Now take a moment to explore a Googal in Google! – Mike

It was many years ago that I was introduced to the internet search engine. It amazed me that a website could search through the entire web and pull up web pages from my keywords. While I got my start with Altavista, I soon found myself excited by both the simplicity and complexity provided by GoogleWikipedia defines Googal as “the large number 10100, that is, the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeros in decimal representation. The term was coined in 1938 by Milton Sirotta (1929–1980), nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, when he was nine years old”. The people at Google understood the meaning Googal would bring. In fact new words have appeared in the English language such as googled, googling, googler, and possibly even googlist.

In this Blog Posting I would like to investigate a small portion of the new  Googal that is found in Google. Most people are aware of Google DocsGoogle EarthGoogle MapsGoogle Flickr,Google You Tube and the Google Search Engine. It is amazing to explore some of the lesser known areas, beta projects, experiments in the making, and those too new for the (googal) of people to have found yet. Let’s explore!

Google Options – Wonder Wheel and Timeline

First, let’s look at the Google Search Engine itself. Have you ever clicked on that Show Options Button?  If you have not done it lately, now is the time.  Click on the Show Options Buttonunder the search and you will see a bunch of options. One of the neatest options introduced in May of 2009  is the Wonder Wheel. When it is clicked, users get a graphical display of their search. A great way for students to expand search terms!  Directly to the right on the results page  are websites related to the wheel. Click on a spoke of the wheel and you get a new wheel and new links related to that spoke.

wheel2

While in the options menu check out the  Timeline Option. This can can be a neat educational tool. Type in iPod and you will get a timeline of significant events in the iPod’s history. Feel free to explore the option window and also notice you can  Hide Options at anytime.

Google Squared

Another new tool released in the Spring of 2009 is Google Squared (just type inwww.google.com/squared in your browser). Google describes this tool as a way to collect multiple  facts on a subject from the web. Google Squared then  presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet. You can even customize and export results to Excel. Best of all, for students,  it  even includes pictures. Read more about it at  Google’s Blog.

elements

Google News Timeline

Are your students following a news event? How about looking at an event in history? Then a new service from Google called Google News Timeline is a great resource. Google describes this service as  a web application that easily organizes search results by date. Google puts the news events in a  graphical timeline filled with links and pictures.  Data sources include recent and historical news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and even information relating to current  media, such as music, albums, and movies. Check out the capabilities as described in the Google Information Site.  Take a moment to view the example below that displays  how students can even find primary sources in news history using Google News Timeline.

hawaii

Google Images – More Options with Similar Images and Creative Commons

While students have access to images under “fair use guidelines ” there are still limits to usage. This is especially true  if projects are to be shared online.  Also, educators may have the need to share an image on the web via school web page, blog, or wiki. This is where the ability to use pictures created under “creative commons” comes in handy. Check out this Google July 2009 Blog that explains new features in the advanced settings for image filters. It is a great way to use images others have created, and still stay within copyright. Google has also introduced Similar Images  Search. First, search for a picture , next use Similar Images  Search to find more pictures  that compliment the original search. Also be  sure to note that there is a safe search option in Google.  It  should be set on the strict filtering option when using Google Images and even for a regular Google Web Search in the classroom.

Google Listen

Want to get more use out of your portable devices ? In August of 2009 Google released Google Listen. Google describes it as ” getting more power from your Android-powered device”.  Google Listen allows you to search, subscribe, download and stream. The user can determine what to listen to by  subscribing to programs and  using search words.  Google Listen will take this user information and create a personalized audio-magazine.  At this time, Google Listen is indexing thousands of popular English-only audio sources. Check out the fact sheet and try a download.

Google Sets

Although Google Sets has been around a few years it is a little known product that can be fun to use. Google Sets was  one of the very first applications produced by Google Labs. This awesome little search tool allows the user  to automatically create sets of items from just a few examples. These  user made sets identify  related items on the web.  Predict relationships between words and construct either large  sets or small sets. It is a great tool for brainstorming, seeing relationships, or just figuring out what is missing. It is a surprisingly  intuitive interface, one that will have you attempting to see if it knows what you are thinking. On a recent exploration I entered lions, panthers, bears and was given a set of mammals. However, when I entered Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears,  Carolina Panthers  I was shown a set of NFL Teams. It even knows the Seven Dwarfs from motion picture,  Snow White!

While I did not supply a googal of information, I do hope you are now more familiar with  a little bit more of the googal of resources found in Google. As you explore the website I am sure you will continue to find even more ways to connect Google with today’s digital learner. Please reply to add ideas!  I am excited to share in upcoming posts a google of information on Google, or is it googal? Please visit me on my wiki as I continue to  promote the use of free and inexpensive resources at http://21centuryedtech.wikispaces.com/, and enjoy googling! – Mike

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Lexipedia : A Cool 21st Century Tool… But What’s A Fuzzynym??

Have you ever found a new tool that was really neat, even though you didn’t understand it completely. I came across such a tool in the beta phase called Lexipedia. I think it is one that will especially be appealing to those teachers of Language Arts. Now for the part I did not understand, or better yet, I will include it in the post below.  Read on …  – Mike

There is no doubt that Lexipedia is a very cool tool! In fact it describes itself as a site “where words have meaning”. Upon inspection, I found that most words entered return a multiple list of definitions. Teachers attempting to convey parts of speech to their students are in for a real treat. Foreign language teachers (English, French, Dutch, Spanish, German, Italian) will be amazed to find a tool that can be used in their classrooms. Lexipedia does an amazing job of taking  each word entered and returning not just definitions.  It categorizes the words by parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, and adverb). It then takes the parts of speech and tries to find relationships including  synonyms, antonyms and fuzzynyms. Hold on… “fuzzynyms”!

Yes, as I was typing the word fuzzynym in my post,  WordPress underlined “fuzzynym” with a big red line as if I had spelled it wrong!  There was no way I could spell a word wrong in my post!  My first thought was, “I am not an English major… so maybe I should look up “fuzzynym”!  I went to Merriam-Webster.com and asked for a definition …  momentarily it returned, “The word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary”. I then visited Wikipedia where someone must have an idea. I was amazed as Wikipedia returned “no result”. As I googled the word “fuzzynym” I was amazed to find 9,910 results. I could not find a site that gave a clear definition, but did find quite a few references to Lexipedia. Then it finally occurred to me; why not type the word “fuzzynym”  into Lexipedia? I entered the Lexipedia site with excitement and a sense of relief. I hit the letters on my keyboard f-u-z-z-y-n-y-m… I waited… The response appeared… NOTHING!

OK, I could not figure out a real definition for “fuzzynym”.  It does appears that it may be a word that is related, but does not fit the category of antonym or synonym. Regardless, Lexipedia is an fantastic site with great educational potential. It will  definitely help students with definitions and the understanding of parts of speech. It is an awesome tool that will facilitate young writers attempting to make their essays more interesting with a great data base of antonyms and synonyms.  I can even envision effective ways for teachers to incorporate Lexipedia into their lessons. It is time for you to take a moment to look at this powerful tool. Also, please leave a comment if you can help me better define  “fuzzynym”.

Thanks for stopping by and as always please follow me on Twitter (mjgormans), I will follow back and we will learn from each other. Also feel free to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with some amazing free resources for 21st century learning!  Have a wonderful week – Mike

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Sweetsearch: More Than A Free Search Engine For K12 Education!

Imagine a powerful search engine created for students containing sites that have that have been evaluated and approved by a staff of Internet research experts. I am sure you would consider that a sweet search engine, which is what this post is all about. Welcome to another posting guaranteed to facilitate educators committed to transforming education and instilling the twenty-first century skills. Thanks for stopping by and ,as always, please follow me on Twitter at (mjgorman), I will return the favor and we can learn from one another. Also, be sure to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with great resources. Now enjoy this sweet information!- Mike

Sweetsearch is owned by Dulcinea Media, a company committed to supplying students with a search engine that returns results that are accurate, reliable, safe, and understandable. Instead of having students sift through millions of web sites, the research experts, educators, and librarians at Dulcinea have created a database of 35,000 sites that students have access to in their searches. As a result, SweetSearch excludes results from unreliable sites that rank high in other search engines.  This allows  students to choose the most relevant result from a list of credible returns, rather than having  educational time wasted on unreliable sites. Since Sweetsearch is powered by Google, it does allow the ability to toggle results between Google and Sweetsearch.

While Sweetsearch is valuable for trimming down results, perhaps its greatest strength is  hidden in its other valuable resources. It is the addition of these extra ingredients that makes Sweetsearch a rich tool for the 21st Century classroom. One such valuable resource is  Sweetsearch Biographies. This portion of the site allows users to filter profiles of more than 1,000 inspiring people by profession, gender, and race/national origin. They can be  viewed in a profile created by Dulcinea Media (for those individuals in their database) followed by a search results page for the person. Another must visit area in Sweetsearch is the outstanding collection of web-links referred to as Sweetsites.  This is a selection of great web resources for classroom use that are free, intuitively organized, and accessible. There is a section for teachers with resources for elementary, middle, and high school. There is also a similar section for students also arranged by elementary, middle, and high school.  Sweetsites will help satisfy the rich appetite necessary for supplying students with engaging resources intent on facilitating 21st Century learning.

The related site, Finding Dulcinea, is just as sweet! At this site, the first area to explore is Web Guides . This section provides a road map for exploring hundreds of topics online. It includes links to some of the best resources, ordered logically, and woven with narrative, insights, and research strategies. The Web Guide categories include a good selection of  academic subjects, as well as health, technology, careers, and other topics. Another section, titled On This Day, covers a broad array of intriguing historical events. Once again it  links to some outstanding online resources that give a full description of the event – what led up to it, what happened that day, and most importantly, what has happened since. These articles contain citations to the on-line resources where the information was found.  The Happy Birthday section of the site celebrates inspiring people, both historic and contemporary. These people are from all cultures and walks of life. The articles contain a biographical profile that links to accurate and reliable online information about the person. The last major section, Beyond the Headlines, provides a total view of topics in the news by cohesively weaving together information from multiple sources. It attempts to give students a  total picture by offering opposing viewpoints on controversial topics.  Be sure to read the  Finding Dulcinea Blog, explore the Finding Education Website, sign up for the newsletter, and watch a video that outlines all of the web site’s features. Finding Dulcinea is also available in Spanish, a great resource for foreign language and ESL classrooms.

I am sure you will find in both Sweetsearch and Finding Dulcinea sites that are rich in content, high in 21 Century calories, and diverse enough to please all appetites for learning. Please feel free to share your findings as you continue to explore the exciting 21st Century Education menu of items. As always, please follow me on Twitter at (mjgorman). I will return the favor and we can learn from one another. Also be sure to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with great resources. Have a sweet week! – Mike

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