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When using the Internet in the classroom, many students and teachers use the Internet predominantly for research, or accessing information. But where do you begin? Do you believe that students use search engines effectively? Do they use sophisticated search strategies?
Sometimes the Internet can seem enormous. Just take a look at the infographic from Focus or the Royal Pingdom blog which explains it in numbers. With 255 million websites to surf and 1.97 billion people riding the waves, how can you search the web effectively?
If Google is your web search tool of choice, there are many helpful tutorials provided by Google to get you started.
There are also online interactive tutorial and reference guides provided by googleguide.
One way to get students interacting in a fun way with google is to try some google games, including the elusive googlewhack! Guess the google can also be a great lesson starter for searching the web.
But is Google all there is to searching the web? Google, Yahoo!, MSN & Ask.com make up 99.99% of the search engine market. However there are some great search engines in the 0.01% that are worth a look at.
And using a search engine will only provide you with access to the ‘visible’ web. The ‘invisible web’ is what you cannot find using these types of tools. It’s the part of the web that is not indexed by search engines. In the ‘deep web’ as it is also known, there are trillions of pages that are hidden: financial information, shopping catalogs, flight schedules, medical research and more. Try some of the most popular deep search engines to access up to an estimated 500 times more data than the average google search.
Is all this still just a needle in a haystack? Consider the alternative: the printed word. Go on, try it! People have been doing it for hundreds of years :)
Thomas Edison said in 1925 that “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” I’m pretty sure this is exactly what people are saying these days about the iPad. hah!