Tag Archives: tool

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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Free: Seeing Reason Tool…High Order Thinking, Mapping, And Collaboration!

Welcome to the second in a series of articles based on Intel Thinking Tools, an amazing set of free tools from Intel. The tool I include today is called the Seeing Reason Tool  , one of Intel’s amazing Online Thinking Tools. The description is perfect for those educators wanting their students engaged in 21st Century learning  activities in the classroom. Before starting, remember to sign up for future posts via email or RSS and also,  follow me on twitter at (mjgormans) to keep learning!  By the time you finish this post you, will dreaming up activities that will allow your students avenues to see reasons, connections, and relevance in all curricular areas.  Have a great week! – Mike


Seeing Reason Tools – Any collection of related facts is difficult to grasp when expressed by figures in tabular form, but the same may be seen at a glance when presented by one of the many graphic representations of those ideas.” – Gardner C. Anthony; from his book; An Introduction to the Graphic Language

There is no better tool that can promote real thinking than one that allows students to brainstorm and web. Intel describes this tool as one that allows students to “investigate relationships in complex systems, and create maps that communicate understanding”. Simply put, the Seeing Reason mapping tool allows a user to create diagrams or “causal maps.”  These maps allow students to understand the information in the investigation of a problem. This is perfect for Problem, Project, and Inquiry Based Learning.  Students learn to organize the factors that influence or affect a problem, and more importantly show how these factors interact with each other in cause-and-effect relationships. This must see tool supports cycles of investigation allowing students to gather what they know, organize that knowledge base into a map, and then investigate whether their initial concepts are really supported by necessary evidence. The benefits include the five key points allowing students to; think about and talk about their learning, negotiate the meaning of their symbols and make their ideas public, translate from one form of knowledge to another, transfer their knowledge to other cause-and-effect situations, and gain experience in using tools for problem solving.

To better understand the Seeing Reason Tool watch this video and also take a look at this provided demo.  Also, be sure to take a moment to explore Intel’s resources of units . Not only will these units and additional project ideas be excellent resources,  they will also provide other ideas for lessons that integrate the use of this tool. Best of all, Intel has included a private project area for teachers to set up lessons, class lists, and collaborative groups. Students then log in to the secure teacher area. Collaboration can occur from any computer at school or at home. Teachers have the ability to monitor and assess student work on line, and even leave important feedback. Take a moment and explore Seeing Reason, a tool that will apply to any curricular area while enhancing 21st Century Skills.

Thanks for joining me once again on the important journey of transforming education to fit the 21st century. Remember to sign up via email or RSS and also,  follow me on twitter at (mjgormans). I also have hundreds of resources available for free at my 21centuryedtech Wiki! Enjoy the week as you introduce new tools that encourage your students to think! – Mike


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A Free Paperless Tool That Can Aid Student Research As It Saves Trees

Welcome to another mid week posting where I try to introduce a  free resource that will assist you in the 21st Century classroom. This week I will highlight a tool that I believe will assist students in online research, save money in the paper budget, and contribute to the needed green movement. It is a valuable resource that every school classroom and library should be aware of and take advantage of. Enjoy the post and you are invited to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. As always, please feel free to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with the latest free resources geared toward 21st Century education! Have a great week – Mike

Update from author – Please note that I tested with with Chrome and Firefox. It has been reported by some that this web site is not totally compatible with Internet Explorer. Any feedback would be appreciated.

If you are like me you have visited a printer spewing out countless papers from a student requested internet page filled with pictures, ads, and text that was not needed for the required research topic. The result ends up being an inflated paper budget, unnecessary information that students must later sift through, and a few less trees in all of our futures. Introducing  The Awesome Highlighter, a free web resource that allows students to save only the text needed, keep it in a digital format, archive the resource it came from, and print only the information necessary!

The site is valuable because it allows use by both registered and unregistered users. An unregistered user is able to perform most tasks with the exception of saving in the Awesome Highlighter Archive. Upon entering the site, the user is asked to enter the desired web address to be highlighted. Once entered, the user is able to highlight up to 2000 characters at once. The highlighted text is then saved to a new web link and an option is given to highlight more text, copy unique URL for an online archive, post in a social network or blog, copy to clipboard, or email for later reading. Options also exist to post notes on the highlighted web page, and share the highlighted page and notes with others using its unique URL. Since it also saves the highlighted text  in an area that can be emailed, copied and pasted to a document or web page, shared via a blog or social network site, or accessed later (for registered users), the need for paper is immaterial. Best of all, students have started the process of filtering through necessary information rather than trying to sift through stacks of printed web pages and resources later. The archive also allows users to save web pics, and videos along with the desired texts. All archived items can be searched by date saved, media type, web domain accessed from, and tags that can be attached to media. The short link web pages with all highlights and notes can be revisited and shared at any time along with the original web link. This comes in handy for creating necessary reference citations.

Users of Firefox can add a bookmarklet to their browser. “A bookmarklet is an applet, a small computer application, stored as the URL of a bookmark in a  browser.” It looks like a normal bookmark. In the case  of Highlighter the bookmarklet allows the user to highlight any page on-the-fly without having to copy & paste the page URL to www.awesomehighlighter.com. The user simply clicks on the bookmark  and the highlighter toolbar appears. Whether is is used from the web site or the browser, Awesome Highlighter is a great tool facilitating student research while keeping down paper and printing costs, and even saving a few trees here and there! It is definitely a highlight you do not want to miss!

Thanks for joining me in the middle of the week! Be sure to return and even subscribe to the feed via RSS or email. you are invited to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. As always, please feel free to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with the latest free resources geared toward 21st Century education! Have a great week – Mike

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EtherPad – A Free And Easy Collaboration Tool : No Sign Up – No Log In

Welcome to another mid week posting highlighting a Great Web Catch. Collaboration is one of those important 21st Century Skills for students and a needed process for teacher planning. Recently EtherPad, a plain and simple collaboration tool, was purchased by Google to be incorporated in the Google Wave product. This review covers the strengths of EtherPad and how it will continue to live in the open sources world and as a foundation for Google Wave. As always visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki for even more resources to transform today’s education for tomorrow’s needs! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

EtherPad has been known as a valuable tool, allowing instant  and  easy collaboration for students and teachers.  As the site proclaims, “Etherpad is simply the most frictionless way to get people on the same page.” The real attraction to EtherPad is the lack of requirement for a user account, sign in, or email. As you are aware, this is a definite plus in the educational setting.  The collaboration is easy!  All that is needed is a visit to http://etherpad.com and  a press of a button called Create Public Pad. After this quick process, a new public pad is created for the user in Etherpad . The user then shares the URL  for the pad with up to sixteen others. What ever is typed from where ever, is displayed on the page in real time. There is even a chat window!  This is a great tool for those that need to bring up a quick collaboration tool on the fly. It is useful in the classroom for students to communicate point of need help in Project Based Learning, collaborate as a group, keep teacher aware of group progress, communicate beyond walls, and interview authors and experts. It allows teachers to collaborate on text documents, keep meeting notes, and draft plans. EtherPad allows each line entered by a collaborator  to have a different number for easy reference. Authors are also given color codes and can even be given a label or name. Best of all, work can be saved and exported as an HTML, plain text, bookmarked file, Microsoft Word, PDF, or Open document. Different revisons can be documented and a time slider is provided to show when revisions are made.  Users must be aware that the only way  to keep open pads private is to safeguard the URL. For this reason private information should not be shared. Take a look at this list of frequently asked questions and view a tour of the product. Recently, EtherPad’s creator AppJet was purchased by Google for the new Google Wave product.  It is currently going through a restructuring to an open source format. It is also being used as a foundation for Google’s soon to be publicly released Google Wave  product.  While it is a goal, Google Wave doesn’t yet have all the functionality of Etherpad. The people at both Google and Appjet are confident that in the long term users will be pleased with the transition to Google Wave . In the mean time, Etherpad is a great way to introduce plain and simple collaboration and may allow you to soon catch the Google Wave! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

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It’s Free – Intel Provides An Amazing Tool To Assess 21st Century Skills

 

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler an American futurist.

This quote found on the front page of the Intel’s Assessing Project Tool web site gives a foundation  and premise for Intel’s  free educational resource . For those trying to assess 21century skills, this site provides some practical tools and resources to answer this question. Not only does Intel provide a unique interface to construct a rubric, it includes theory, rational, best practices, and outstanding examples. It is more then an assessment tool, if used correctly it allows teacher’s to truely transform their practice using a planning process that starts with the end and involves on-going assessment. Please take a moment to read over my review and explore the links that will highlight some of the outstanding attitibutes of this site. As always, take a moment to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki .  If you have 21century skill assessment practices to share please post a reply or send an email. I enjoy reading and make it a practice to answer each and every e-mail. – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

The biggest question I get from teachers when conducting workshops on technology integration and 21st century skills remains, “How do you assess the 21st century skills?”  While it is important to make sure content standards are integrated and assessed in student projects, many times the 21st century skills are loosely incorporated and assessed . This leaves students often confused with the attempted integration of  21st century skill, resulting in a goal never achieved. Once again, as most research suggests, it is important that all projects are designed with the end in mind. The conclusion includes both content standards, and the 21st century skills that are to be acheived by students. This end, is a part of the planning process that is communicated to students in the form of a rubric. The rubric must act as a guide while students engage with the project’s on-going process.

This preparation can be time consuming for the educator, which is why I invite you to explore Intel Education’s Assessing Projects Tool. I am a long time fan of the Intel Thinking  Tools. I am just as impressed with the Assessing  Projects Tool.  Intel states, “When assessment drives instruction, students learn more and become more confident, self-directed learners. Assessing Projects helps teachers create assessments that address 21st century skills and provides strategies to make assessment an integral part of their teaching and help students understand content more deeply, think at higher levels, and become self-directed learners”.

The site overview page  gives the benefits of assessing projects, numerous references and authoritive writings,  and some outstanding assessment based websites  based on 21st century education. Learn more about the purpose of assessment, various assessments that go beyond tests, papers, and oral presentations, and how formative assessment which is continuous and ongoing promotes real achievement. Additionally, while higher-order thinking such as critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and metacognition, can be a challenge. this tool explores methods for assessing thinking. Last, this tool explores what components are necessary for successful assessment in a school.

Intel gives you the opportunity to Try It.  Here you can try a Demo to explore the Assessment Library and examine checklists, rubrics, and scoring guides on thinking skills, processes, products, and performances. There is also a video tutorial that allows you to see how features of the Assessing Projects application work in the classroom. You can also view a great animation of the process which helps simplify the process. Explore some example project assessment forms for both the elementary and secondary level. Intel states that assessment strategies can be broken into five main categories. While not all methods within a category are needed, all categories should be included in an assessment plan. The categories included are Strategies for Gauging Student Needs ,  Strategies for Encouraging Self-Direction and Collaboration,  Strategies for Monitoring ProgressStrategies for Checking for Understanding and Encouraging Metacognition,  and Strategies for Demonstrating Understanding and Skill. There is also an area that describes the planning of assessment, the changing of assessment strategies, and some sample lesson plans complete with timeline of project, venn diagram, table, and assessment timeline. I find it useful to use the large selection of pre-made rubics and modify and save them to my Intel Work Space. From here they can be exported as a Word or Excel file.

In conclusion, Intel offers a top of the line tool that is free to educators. There are other tools which I will explore in future posts but I do suggest that anyone exploring assessment of 21st century skills take a look at the Intel Assessing Projects Tool for its ease of use, vast resources of information,  on-line productivity, and theory behind practice. While it acts as a rubric machine, it goes much farther by transtorming educational practice. Please feel free to email or post. I am interested in learning about other tools available for 21st century assessment.  While taking your journey in 21st century education, please visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

 

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