Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Search Strategies for Classroom or Home - Part 2

Continued from: Search Strategies for Classroom or Home - Part 1

Step 5. If you feel comfortable as an Internet sleuth, move on to discover how to evaluate web sites.

The University of California, Berkeley has an exercise in evaluating web sites. Essentially a WebQuest on evaluating sites, this activity is used to show UC Berkeley students why it is important to evaluate the source of information on the web. Try the activity yourself.

Step 6. Teach your students to think as they search the Internet.

Alan November asks, "Is your high school teaching students to access the Internet for research?" If so, he points out that "it is essential that students also learn how to validate the information. The Internet is a place where you can find 'proof" of essentially any belief system that you can imagine. And, for too many students, 'If it is on the Internet, it is true.' " Read his entire article, titled Teaching Zach to Think [Note: this link opens on a new page]. Alan wrote this for the September 1998 issue of High School Principal Magazine.

Step 7. Learn to use Boolean Logic in your searching

"Boolean searching is named after George Boole, a British mathematician (1815-1864), who wrote about logical ways to formulate precise queries using true-false connectors or "operators" between concepts. The true-false nature of Boolean logic, as this system is commonly called, makes it compatible with binary logic used in digital computers. It has become the conventional basis for searching most computerized systems." Quoted from Joe Barker (jbarker@library.berkeley.edu) from “Best Stuff on the Web” – Copyright 2002 The Teaching Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA. See a two-page .pdf document about using the primary operators.

Step 8. Use four Nets for better searching

Dr. Bernie Dodge, co-developer of the WebQuest concept, suggests using NETS as an acronym for remembering a way to improve your search results. The NETS acronym comes from his suggestion to: "start narrow, use exact phrases, trim the URL, and seek similar pages." For a more complete explanation of this suggestion, see his page posted on the San Diego State University domain.

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

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