When I’m not traveling during my summer vacation I always try to set a goal for those 6 weeks off school. Priority is always NO RUSH but for whatever reason I also need some input. In the past it was reading as many books as possible or improving my Italian and this summer I decided to inquire into Google and Google Apps in Education. It is fascinating.
My deeper interest in Google started already beginning of this century (Wikipedia says Google search exist already since 1997) when I applied for a job at Google in Hamburg, Germany. I didn’t get the job but I have been even more curious since then.
I guess that most of the people use Google for searching and for emailing. During my Google Apps In Education course (GAFE – highly recommended) I learned a lot about how to search deeper effectively. Do you want to know whether you are a good searcher? Check out: a google a day.
My main outcomes for me as a teacher are:
I want to be a able to search deeply and effectively.
The course definitely made me aware of what effective and detailed search is possible. Because of the huge and growing amount of information it becomes more important then ever. But not only the search is important, it’s also the results we need to know how to read and understand. Regarding the results, the following questions come in my mind when I think about teaching:
What are the main different file types?
What is an URL and what is the meaning of the different endings like .gov, etc.?What does an URL tells me about the result?
What is specific vocabulary used within the search results?
What are the criteria for a reliable website?
I want to be aware of the not so obvious skills students need in order to be able to search deeply.
- There are certain skills involved students need to learn:
- Skimming (f.e. the search result)
- Scanning (f.e. the result preview)
- Predicting information they might find deeper on the website
- Staying focused, not to get lost on the Internet
- Decision making
I want to model good research skills more often in class.
It can happen with the whole class/group or individual students. It helped me a lot that Dan Russell verbalized each single step during his lessons (https://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/). As a teacher I think we need to be aware of our steps and speak them out aloud in front of the students. Modeling in lessons should happen naturally. It’s not a lesson you teach during a certain unit or lesson it’s something which happens all the time.
Jeff Utecht actually got me thinking about:
What is the difference between finding stuff on the Internet and searching on a deeper leaver?
I think that’s what’s the future generations need! Deeper searching skills.
Where to start? Here are some links:
- Google itself has lesson plans Basic Search Education Lesson Plans
- Common Sense Media Digital Curriculum provides lesson plans for searching
- PhD in googling
- Auf Deutsch und für Kinder: Suchen und Finden im Netz
I definitely want to save some time! Life is too short! And you?