Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
It claims to provide searchers with the most relevant results from a list of credible sources and to make it much easier for them to find primary sources. SweetSearch excludes spam sites, and Wikipedia almost never shows up in results.
SweetSearch has an integrated tool that highlights keywords, showing where the term is used and in what context, so that students can quickly scan a search results page and easily determine which results will be most helpful.
Results can be saved to a Google Doc (with the link included), EasyBib’s citation generator, or a social bookmarking service. So students not only can find what they are looking for very quickly, but they can be sharing it with other students within moments.
I tried a number of New Zealand key words and phrases with good results, and I found it helpful that I was able to filter by date to narrow my results.
Have you ever wondered why two people doing exactly the same internet search can get two very different sets of results?
What happens is that web companies tailor their services, including news and search results, to our personal tastes. This personalisation is achieved by monitoring our searching behaviour and up to 57 other factors, including the type of computer and browser being used and our geographic location; and then tailoring the search results to achieve a ‘best fit’ with our profile.
In a recent TED talk, Eli Pariser argues that this means that we get trapped in a “filter bubble” and are not exposed to information that could challenge us or broaden our thinking. A case of being shown information that our personal profile suggests we want, rather than what we need to see.
This is another reason to encourage students to use a variety of searches and resources to verify information that they find, before they form their own conclusions.
Then discuss with staff and students whether increasing personalisation and the existence of ‘filter bubbles’ should change their searching behaviour.
image by: zzub nik
In April this year Daniel Russell launched a new game which tests your Google searching skills in the form of a daily challenge.
A Google a Day(AGAD)is a great way to test your students’ (and staff) search skills as they pit themselves against each daily challenge. “There is no right way but only one right answer” which allows searchers to use their experience of Google to win the challenge.
Searchers can either play normally or race the clock which adds another level of complexity to the game. Help is provided to guide the searcher and also to highlight searching tips they might not already know.
Daniel Russell the creator of the game also has an interesting blog about the learning and teaching of effective search skills.
For those of you with a wiki or blog you can embed a widget for AGAD. You will find further information and the code for the widget on the LibraryFit blog.
This would be a great way to encourage students to hone their Google search skills and learn new things along the way.
Is anyone using this in their school already?
A blog post prior to the launch of the game.
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