Designing a webpage
Using Search Engines to Locate Literacy Resources
Search Engines for Teachers
We'll be exploring five search engines I've found to be useful for teachers.
- Google is an impressive search engine that locates relevant articles quickly with very little clutter on its page. It features an automated method that ranks web pages according to their popularity and number of times they are linked to other similar pages. It's "I'm feeling lucky" button runs your search and then takes you straight to the web page of the number one hit. http://www.google.com
- Dogpile This meta-search engine searches 15 popular search engines (e.g. Alta Vista, Yahoo) at the same time and reports results with top 10 from each search engine. You can continue using just one search engine or can customize your search to include only some search engines or customize the order the results are reported to you. http://www.dogpile.com
- FindArticles Search through an archive of published articles dating back to 1988 from more than 300 magazines and journals. This is great for locating research articles about literacy topics. http://www.findarticles.com
- Microsoft Design Gallery Live: Search and download clip art and import directly into your Microsoft clip art gallery on your computer. Use in your word processing documents, slide shows and on web pages. Good search terms are reading, books, teacher, and student. http://dgl.microsoft.com
- Clipart.com: Use the ArtToday search box on the left margin of this site to locate clip art quickly. This clip art is usable for educational purposes, but for any other uses, it is recommended you purchase the rights to the entire Clip Art Library. http://www.clipart.com/
Beginning Strategies for Locating Educational Resources
- Indicate the subject area or specific topic.
- Use quotations to group two or more words together as a phrase.
- Indicate Internet project, lesson plans, webquest, quiz, or class project using quotations as needed.
- If level not appropriate, include the grade level or grade range in quotes (spell it out e.g. "third grade")
- Connect all items, including the first, with a plus sign. If search is too narrow, remove plus signs.
- Look for keywords in annotations of links located from a similar search.
- Follow links on one web site to locate other related links.
Begin with: "type of web site" +topic OR “title of book” +topic
Narrow down with: + "grade level" + topic + "type of web site"
SEE THE EXAMPLE BELOW...
For information and activities about whales:
(use any of these)
whales "lesson plans"+whales "second grade" +whales webquest +whales quiz +whales cyberhunt +whales -"pilot whale" +whales (to not get pilot whale sites)
Search Engines for Children, Grades K-3
Try out the strategies we just used with the "adult" search engines to see the different results you'll find with these kid-friendly search tools.
- Yahooligans: The information at this site is indexed by general categories. You can follow the categories to more specific information or you can just do an open-ended search through all the categories at that site. http://www.yahooligans.com
- Ask Jeeves for Kids: This search engine encourages children to ask questions in "plain English" and then helps learners fine tune their questions with a series of pull down menus and more specific questions.There is also an adult version of this site called Ask Jeeves. http://www.ajkids.com
- Kids Click: This web search for kids was designed by librarians and search results are reported back in reading levels! It also includes nine Internet searching lessons that teachers and parents can do with learners. http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/KidsClick!/
Building Media Literacy: Evaluating Web Sites
- K-3 Students: Model strategies in large and small group activities; teach children how to form guiding questions, select key words for searching, and judge the quality of the resource based on how much they learned about their topic. Refer to your handout for guiding children through the process of scoring qualities of design, content, technical elements and credibility.
- Teachers: There are many web sites that can help you learn more about evaluating web sites. Some of my favorites include:
- Yahooligans Teacher's Guide for Internet Literacy: lots of great activities with specifics about the Four A's of evaluating web sites
- Critical Evaluation Tools from Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators
- The Critical Thinking Guide gives a great overview of evaluating websites for research purposes. This guides is part of the ICYouSee Guide to the World Wide Web which is an excellent site to visit during a study group with other teachers.
- For an interesting inservice training, visit the Who Dunnit? Website from UCLA.
- Read more about nine easy tips for evaluating online sites in the chart below.
Nine tips for evaluating online curriculum sites:
Source: WebBased Training Cookbook, John Wiley & Sons
- Content: Does the site have the right amount and quality of information?
- Instructional Design: Will students actually be able to learn from the site:
- Interactivity: Does the site engage learners? Does it invite responses?
- Navigation: Can students easily find their way around the site?
- Motivational elements: Does the site employ humor, game elements, adventure, or surprises?
- Use of media: Does the site make effective use of video, sound and graphics?
- Record keeping: Does the site have a tracking system and way to archive data?
- Aesthetics: Is the site appealing to the eyes and ears?
- Tone: Does the site sport a professional design?
- Credibility: Is the site hosted by a credible educational institution/organization and is there a contact person?