Going Gaga Over Google

This last week one of the topic for my eet330 students to mull over was internet searching and naturally the first question was, “Well what do you use to search?” and of course the answer from all was the big ‘G’. Questioned a bit further the group conceded that in most cases they did a stock standard search though one or two did reveal that there had been times when an advanced search was required. There was some knowledge in the room that there are other search options out there but ‘hey if Google works for you then why go elsewhere?’ seemed to be the general attitude.

To get us started, I first directed their attention to the following movie from Google that looks at how the Google search function works from the spiders though to the software algorithms that search the index of Search Terms that makes up Google. The only drawback with the video is the self promotion tacked onto the end, but that aside it started to provide a more considered basis for looking at search.

As part of the activity for the class, these are supposed to be workshop sessions I then drew their attention to some of the research options provided by Joyce Valenza in her great poster of search engines specially suited to primary school students. The only drawback is that as it’s a Glogster, and so it can take quite some time to load dependent on your connection.

Kids search: the poster by Joyce Valenza

From the list provided the students were then asked to test out the search capabilities using a common term, kangaroo and critique their choice of search tool. The critiques can be found towards the bottom of our group wiki page on search.

Whilst on the topic of Google there has been an interesting series of links and discussions around the ever expanding empire that Google seems to be developing into including the following from my Diigo links.

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