Savvy Searcher

Searching for Numbers: a Powerful Tool for Makers and Students

Searching for Numbers: a Powerful Tool for Makers and Students

At a recent conference, professor Kristin Fontichiaro described watching a seven-year-old work his way through do-it-yourself resources online. Because he was comparing  concrete items (e.g., his circuit versus that in the tutorial), and not abstract concepts, the student immediately understood what was a credible resource and what was not. Although the task was about building […]

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Why It’s Important to Understand Google Ranking

Why It’s Important to Understand Google Ranking

Students rely heavily on ranking–or how search tools decide the order in which to display results–to help them select sources to read. Most of us do, but the data about students comes from researchers Andrew Asher of Bucknell University and Lynda Duke of Illinois Wesleyan University. The researchers presented the findings of their latest study […]

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Knowledge Graph: Easy Fact Finding Allows for Deeper Search

Knowledge Graph: Easy Fact Finding Allows for Deeper Search

Wondering how to use Google’s new Knowledge Graph? The resulting panels to the right of the main results are meant to move research beyond simple data retrieval into deeper topics. At the same time, the new tool could serve as a better way to use key words. The new sidebar shows key facts that users […]

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How to Identify Mysterious Images Online

How to Identify Mysterious Images Online

Can’t figure out the source of an image you found online? There’s an easy trick you might not know about — and it’s an essential tool for citing sources. Students who find images they want to use in projects need to follow the appropriate rules of citation: state the title and the original source. But […]

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Websites in Different Languages Offer More Global Perspective

Websites in Different Languages Offer More Global Perspective

The wired world has made it possible for people from all across the globe to connect and learn from each other. In a few days, New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof will host a Hangout and interview United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice during school hours. In classes across the country, students are hearing about the […]

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Search Tip for Students: Try Predicting Your Search Results

Search Tip for Students: Try Predicting Your Search Results

Just as having students predict answers to math problems is a way of creating more meaningful learning, prediction can be a useful strategy in successful searching too. Search results can be presented any number of ways: tables and charts, videos, infographs. We teach students how to develop an understanding of the kinds of information that’s […]

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Is Learning Facts a Trivial Pursuit?

Is Learning Facts a Trivial Pursuit?

| April 10, 2012 | 4 Comments

By Tasha Bergson-Michelson Dear Savvy Searcher, You wrote recently about the importance of teaching search skills. What do you make of the whole idea that kids no longer need to learn facts because they can find answers so easily online? Do you think that is true? Concerned Teacher When I was growing up, we used […]

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Building Good Search Skills: What Students Need to Know

Building Good Search Skills: What Students Need to Know

| March 20, 2012 | 9 Comments

Getty The Internet has made researching subjects deceptively effortless for students — or so it may seem to them at first. Truth is, students who haven’t been taught the skills to conduct good research will invariably come up short. That’s part of the argument made by Wheaton College Professor Alan Jacobs in The Atlantic, who […]

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Can’t Confirm That Quotation? Search Google Books

Can’t Confirm That Quotation? Search Google Books

Flickr: dstrelau Dear Savvy Searcher, “We have hit a stumper. A colleague is looking for confirmation that Maya Angelou said the following (along with where and when): ‘We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter […]

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How to Choose the Right Words for Best Search Results

How to Choose the Right Words for Best Search Results

| February 21, 2012 | 9 Comments

Diane T. Sands Dear Savvy Searcher, My students keep wanting to enter their entire research question into the search bar. I keep trying to tell them that’s a bad idea. How do you teach students to identify the right words to use in a search? Frustrated Educator       Dear Frustrated, I had a […]

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