Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Search Strategies For Classroom or Home - Part 1

Step 1. Choose a few search engines, and learn how they work

Find 3 - 4 search engines that you are comfortable using and do most of your searches with them. This tutorial will use Clusty, which sends search queries to several search engines and then clusters the results. I have found that Clusty consistently gives me good results. If you wish to use a different search engine check out this list. There is also a list of Kid Safe Search Engines.

Tip: Do not search with the button. Go to a search engine's homepage, not where the browser sends you.

Step 2. Searching for pictures

Ditto calls itself the premier visual search engine. If you are searching for an image, you will probably find it here. Several search engines offer graphics search capability. In the list above they are identified by the camera icon - (Caution: Image search pages on search engines are blocked by many state filters.)
Internet4Classrooms.com has a collection of graphics links with a section on picture collections found on the Internet.

Step 3. Search for sounds on the Internet

FindSounds.com is a search engine for finding sound effects on the Web. Search the Web for sound effects and sample sounds. Take a look at the types of sounds you can find. This is a partial list. Many more sounds are available. You may also find a large number of sound files of all types at Partners in Rhyme.

Step 4. Let the purpose of your search determine the search engine to be used.

Take a look at the list provided by Debbie Abilock titled "Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need." For example, you might "have a broad academic subject and need pointers to quality sites." If so, Debbie suggests that you go to Librarians' Index to the Internet or Infomine. On the other hand, if you need to see relationships among ideas, she suggests that you use KartOO or Web Brain. This is a great site, check it out!

For more information regarding searching the Internet - click on http://www.internet4classrooms.com/search.htm

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