Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What Are You Searching For?

There are dozens of search engines available for online users to access. It is important to recognize that while Google is the most popular search engine on the web today, it is advantageous to explore different engines and not simply rely on retrieving information from one source. Students need to be well-informed citizens that are able to seek out information from multiple sources. While Google continues to dominate as the number one search engine, it should not be the only means to which students are researching, retrieving and using information. Students no longer have to rely on textbooks, libraries or the classroom to access and receive information necessary to complete assignments. Internet tools offers up a world of immediate knowledge. However, educators need to guide and nurture the skills it takes for students to become effective information consumers.

“To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information”. (Wikipedia, 2010)

Search engines are tools intended to help us search out information on the World Wide Web. When searching the web, there are a few basic tips to pass along to our fellow educators and students:
•Narrow the search topic into keywords or phrases
•Spelling counts!
•Searches are not case sensitive
•Use precise words for your search topic
•Punctuation is usually not necessary
•To locate an exact phrase, place quotes around the words
•Explore as many search results as possible

Recommended search engines for students include:
Ask Kids
Quintura for Kids

Wikipedia (2010). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_literacy