30 May 2018

SEARCHING WITH SAVVY: THE BEST SEARCH ENGINES FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

Have you ever performed an online search that resulted in totally unexpected matches? Almost anyone who has used the Internet has had that experience. The difficulty may be in the keywords you choose, or it may be with the search engine itself. For those who have mastered the technique, searching is an art. You learn to adjust your thinking to match an engine and get better results. However, the key to effective searching may be in finding a search engine or directory that “thinks” like you!

For example, Google, Bing, and Yahoo! are great for broad questions, but research can often be a lot easier with a focused search. When you’re writing a paper or conducting a research-intensive project, you might turn to Wikipedia for a quick examination of the material. As informative and entertaining as this “collaborative online encyclopedia” can be, Wikipedia is generally not considered a credible source to cite in your college-level research papers. Even Wikipedia itself encourages readers to carefully evaluate the information because “anyone can edit the information given at any time.”

Google Scholar

This must-have search engine for research lets you easily find relevant scholarly literature, such as books, theses, abstracts, and articles, across many disciplines and sources. Google Scholar ranks documents by taking into account the full text, where the document was published, who authored it, and how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature. Find literature from academic publishers, professional societies, universities, court opinions, and other credible organizations.

iSeek Education

This targeted search engine was created for students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers, and all content is editor-reviewed. You have access to hundreds of thousands of trusted scholastic resources provided by universities, government, and reputable noncommercial sites. Numerous filters in the sidebar make it easy to quickly target your results and refine your search by topic, subject, resource type, place, and people. Instantly identify lesson plans, school subjects, activities, and grade levels.

The popular search directory Yahoo! offers two ways to access information on the Web. Because it is a searchable index, you may enter the title of a site you are looking for, and it will return as many related links as it can locate. However, if you are interested in finding material about a certain subject, you may enter keywords and search the database or click on a heading from Yahoo!’s index. At each level of the index, you will find more specific categories to explore until you locate just the information you need. The engine’s advanced search options provide the opportunity to search only Web sites that have been added to the database in the past four years to one day, a handy tool if you need very current information.

HotBot brings together many of the best features of other search engines. Visitors can enter keywords, choose words that the results must contain, select a time frame for publication of the sites, and limit the search to a specific domain name. Of interest to educators is the option to specify media types or technologies that must be included in the results. With this capability, teachers may find highly interactive, visually appealing, and entertaining sites that will capture and keep the attention of students.

If you are limited by the inability of search engines to find sites that deal with concepts related to your queries, you have a reason to be excited about Excite. This search engine claims it has formulated an “intelligent search,” whereby the engine recognizes topics that are closely matched to the wording you have used and displays that material in a comprehensive list. Other unique features of Excite include the option Search for more documents like this one. When you find a link that seems to describe exactly what you seek, click on those words for another search.

HotBot brings together many of the best features of other search engines. Visitors can enter keywords, choose words that the results must contain, select a time frame for publication of the sites, and limit the search to a specific domain name. Of interest to educators is the option to specify media types or technologies that must be included in the results. With this capability, teachers may find highly interactive, visually appealing, and entertaining sites that will capture and keep the attention of students.

 

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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