Pragmatic tools and ideas for the classroom

Digital Magic #19


This Digital Magic is all about Search tools. The term Google has become synonymous with looking things up. ‘Just Google it!’ can often be heard in response to a question… but intelligent search is not instinctual and takes critical thinking skills. Here are some tools that help make searching a little easier.

1. Google Advanced Search

Refine your Google Search with their new and easier to use ‘Advanced Search‘. What I like about this is that it shows you what the search looks like without using Advanced Search in the top box. So, students actually learn that wording in quotes looks for “exact phrasing” and a minus sign, (-), will search for pages that do not have that -word on the page. Note the + sign at the bottom where you can refine the search further with things like the date or the usage licences (which is handy when searching for images.


2. Images

Flickr Creative Commons Attribution Search is ideal for searching images that students are permitted to use if they are respectful to attribution rules (giving credit to the photographer) etc. I often use photos from this license on my Pair-a-Dimes blog: BY :: NC :: SA -Give credit to who took the photo, don’t use it for sale/profit, and what you use it for should be shared ‘alike’ with others.

Just for fun, check out Tag Galaxy to see a very visual Flickr search.

3. Newspaper Front Page Search

Newseum: As it is discribed on the site: The Newseum displays these daily newspaper front pages in their original, unedited form. Some front pages may contain material that is objectionable to some visitors. Viewer discretion is advised. I looked at September 12th, 2001 and I see why viewer descretion may be advised. Although this site is very US centered, I think it would be a great tool for Current Events and global perspectives.

4. A few more to check out

Colossus – International Directory of Search Engines. When you click on a country it even tells you which of these search engines are in English.

Search Me – see the front page of each page and scroll through them visually.

Joongel – Shows you different places to search for specific items such as images, music, video, news, cooking, health, and even gossip.

NoodleTools – A search engine that helps you find the best search engine for your search… umm o.k.

5. Things that make you go hmmmmmm….

Take a look at the New Blooms Taxonomy. Where does intellegent searching fit? How important will it be in our students’ futures?


Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!


November 16, 2008 Posted by | across the curric., digital magic, Social Studies, technology, tools, web based, web2.0 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #19