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

Digital Magic #17

Photos and Bookmarks

Tagging and Storing them online!

Digital Magic was about the K12Online Conference two weeks ago, and Digital Magic featured Del.icio.us last June.

Well I’m combining those and featuring Chris Betcher‘s K12Online presentation called “I Like Delicious Things: An Introduction to Tagging and Folksonomies”.

He talks about saving and storing photos and bookmarks online, as well as the use of a really cool tool called Wordle. He focuses on ‘tagging’ which is like sorting into folders stored online.

Like all other K12Online presentations, this presentation is just 20 min. long and so it is a really quick way to get some Pro-D on using tech tools.

Also, if you are interested in storing all of your bookmarks online, so that you can access them from any computer at any time, (one of the most useful things technology has done for me), then ask our resident expert Stan to help you out. He just recently presented on del.icio.us at CUEBC. Or, go back to Digital Magic #9 to find out a whole lot more and to explore my bookmarks.


Things that make you go hmmmmm…

How can you use Wordle in the classroom? Words used most frequently show up larger. I used my Statement of Educational Philosophy to create this wordle.

Statement of Educational Philosophy

Statement of Educational Philosophy

How could you use this with provided texts or student work?

November 2, 2008 Posted by | across the curric., del.icio.us, digital magic, Pair-a-Dimes, technology, tools, web based, web2.0 | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #17