Looking for info today is way different from the way it was in your dear old granny's day. She probably went to the library and flipped through paper card catalogs looking for books that might be useful. Talk about slow.
(Actually, let's talk about fast.)
You know what's fast? Researching on the Internet. You can have thousands of search results in a matter of seconds! Of course, then you have to sort through them all, which, once again, sounds... slow. But it doesn't have to be.
Today you're going to learn few new search techniques that will help make searching online easy, quick, fun, and useful.
Step 1: Chat with your teacher and classmates about the following questions:
Step 2: As a class, brainstorm what kinds of questions you might research on the Internet.
Remember: Research doesn’t just mean school or academics. Whenever you check on a movie time, for example, you're doing research. Yelping a new restaurant? Research!
Step 3: Divide into small groups and get a copy of the "Google Search Madness" handout from your teacher. Working together, see how quickly you can find the answers to all of the questions on the handout.
Step 4: Time's up! Share your answers with your classmates and then follow up by discussing these questions:
Step 5: At this point, you probably have the hang of searching for answers to small questions that have one specific answer. But that's not all search engines are good for. You can also search online for answers to bigger questions, like:
Take a few minutes to brainstorm some larger research questions with your class. Your teacher will write down any questions you come up with on the class board.
When you have a decent list, choose your favorite questions as a class and then divide into groups, having each group search for information related to a different question.
Step 6: It's almost time to start searching, but first, type in the keywords or phrases you want to start with, press enter (or "search"), and then stop and walk through the following questions with your classmates:
Step 7: Take a break from your research for a minute or two and take a look at the search options above the search box. Do you see the headings "Web," "Images," "Videos," "News," "Shopping," and "More"? Mm hm. Google allows you to filter your results by specific categories. Just click one of these links (like "images") and you'll get search results in that category. Cool, huh?
Take another 10 minutes or so to continue your research, this time looking for images, videos, and other items related to your research question. Continue to bookmark anything that seems useful.
Step 8: All right. Stop conducting new searches and review a few of the sites you bookmarked before. Dig through the sites you thought looked good and see what kind of information you can find to help answer your question.
As you go, take notes on what you're learning about your research question. Your whole group can do this together by creating a single Google doc that is shared with all of your group members. Then you can all type your notes into one document.
Step 9: Time to stop your research and present your findings to the class. Choose one person from your group to summarize the information you all came up with by reading the key points from your Google doc aloud.
Step 10: Once each group has had a chance to present its findings, take a few minutes to discuss the following questions as a class:
Step 11: Share your group's Google doc with your teacher so s/he can scan see what everyone came up with.