Research Skills & Information Literacy: Search Skills
Search Engines Out of the Ordinary:
The major search engines at this time are Google and Bing, both of which provide their own search results. Gigablast is a smaller search engine, but is the only other one that does its own searching. All other search engines present results from one of these three. Yahoo, for instance, now uses results from Bing and has since 2010.
Take a look at the search engines listed below to see how they differ from the ordinary to make searching easier.
These suggest other terms to search:
These display full sentences of your search term:
These show a screen image of the sites:
This meta-search engine provides results from many search engine at a time, allowing you to compare results
These are more specific:
These search only specific web sites:
These search specific types of info:
This one doesn't use tracking or filter bubbling:
And the most unique of all...
These sites have a menu of web sites organized by categories. Click on those categories to see sub-topics in that category. Very useful for narrowing down your research topic.
Skills for Improving Web Searching:
Search Engine Comparisons & Info:
Lists of Search Engines:
Tools for Searching:
The Invisible Web:
Google can find information that didn't always used to be searchable. Here's an up-to-date view of what's visible and still invisible to search engines...
File types indexed by Google:
Common file formats:
Other file formats:
Files not indexed by most search engines:
Search Engine Widgets:
Wikipedia in the Classroom:
From the Wikibooks entry, User-Generated Content in Education/Wikipedia (Read the full entry for more good information and links on Wikipedia use in school.)
- Wikipedia, like any encyclopedia, is a great starting place for research but not always a great ending place (Wikipedia, n.d.).
- A Wikipedia entry should not be “used as a source of truth but as a springboard to further inquiry” (Crovitz and Smoot, 2009).
- Students can search Wikipedia for information that interests them, look for gaps or missing information within a page, propose questions, find research, and finally make editing or addition contributions to the Wikipedia page.
- With this process, students will be actively engaged in material that is interesting to them, they will take a turn teaching the world, and they will increase research and writing skills.
- When elementary and secondary students are researching history, Wikipedia is a decent place to start. When they or others are researching education policy, or other controversial topics, tapping another resource is in order (Petrilli, 2008).
- Wikipedia can teach students about authorial credibility. (Blackwell, K., 2008)
More on Wikipedia:
- The Colbert Report, The Word: Wikiality not quite appropriate for students, but this video clip sure makes some interesting points about the need to verify information on the web
- The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely On Wikipedia an interesting article by Mark Moran - helpful to have when you get the question, "Why can't we use Wikipedia?" Contains my all-time favorite Wikipedia comeback...
- Teachers: Please stop prohibiting the use of Wikipedia article published in ZDNet Education, makes a good argument of using Wikipedia as " a starting point and a collection of additional references for our research"
- 4 ways to use Wikipedia (hint: never cite it) use it for the 1) background information, 2) links, 3) keywords, and 4) references
This page updated Feb. 25, 2012.