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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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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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