Search Engines [part 2]

The trick with searching is choosing the right tool and this is not always a search engine.

1.  When searching, the key to success is to identify a 2-3 word summary of the theme. [ see Roman example below]
There are three core "Boolean search operators".
 An Example: Searching for "Romans"

a. By inserting the term romans as the search field we will get information on ? Roman sandals? ? Roman blinds? etc.
5,460, 000items.

b. By inserting Roman Empire will result in only web sites with both terms found within them.
5, 060, 000 items.

c. By inserting the search field "Roman Empire" we will only get web sites where the word Empire follows the word Roman.
2, 420,000 items.

d. By inserting the search field  +"Roman Empire" +k12 we will only get sites dealing with the Roman Empire that are suitable for years 0-12 (k12 indicates Kindergarten to year 12 in USA)
26, 700 items.
A much better result can be obtained by using the "Advanced Search" option placed next to the "Search" button. eg. You can do better if you only require "edu" sites.

2.For pre reviewed web sites: start with directories as these are excellent resources and they are free. A directory ( http://www.teachers-work.com )
has over 5000 reviews and you simply enter the theme/topic you are looking for and the reviews are forthcoming. Other good directories include:

Blue Web'N http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/bluewebn/

Education Planet http://www.educationplanet.com

Education World http://www.education-world.com

           Edna http://www.edna.edu.au/edna/page1.html

3.You can also use natural speech search engines. This type of search engine allows the user to use a "natural question format" as the search field. The most popular natural speech search engine is "Ask Jeeves".

There are two editions of this tool. The general site
http://www.askjeeves.com
and the one designed specifically for a students
http://www.ajkids.com/
Some search engines such as Google
http://www.google.com/   allow this also.

4.The next useful tool is your Bookmarks/Favourites. These are links through to the sites that you want to access easily. These are stored in your browser.
 Over time you can put together a substantial list of useful Bookmarks/Favourites.

5. It is possible to make copies of a web site using caching or whacking software.
A cached site has some of the site held in a part of the computers memory so it only needs some of the site sent through from the original source.
A whacked web site is a copy that has been made of a web site. Whacking (referred to as "off-line browsing") is violation of  copyright and you must get the web site owners approval (e-mail approval is fine) before you whack a site. Off line browsing software can be found at
http://www.treadwell.co.nz/toolkit.htm
You can use a product called Web Whacker
http://www.bluesquirrel.com/products/whee/ which costs $US39.95 for an Education version.
Note: Google will cache a website. If You cannot find a site, check for a cached version. The link is marked next to the URL.

 6. There are over many search engines available on the Internet. For younger students use Pictorial Search Engines: You can check MamaMedia at http://www.mamamedia.com/activities/search/home.html
or
for many projects, try Zoomschool - a fantastic resource.


The search engine I presently encourage teachers and students to use is Google http://www.google.com


I hope this is of some use to you all. More information via the teacher text  "Surfing the web" http://www.treadwell.co.nz/searching.htm

[Taken from an article in ozteachers 2001 by Mark Treadwell]


Additional Information

The Phil Bradley website at http://www.philb.com/webse.htm  notes "I've created a list of country based search engines which covers 109 countries, 6 regions and *800* search engines ( as at Aug 9th 2001).

This web site  http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/oct01/price.htm  provides *excellent* information regarding Internet search engines.

Google < http://www.google.com > is the only major Internet search engine which finds Adobe Acrobat, PDF files .

All The Web < http://www.alltheweb.com > finds images, video. MP3 & FTP databases.

Alta Vista < http://www.altavista.com > is the only engine which allows the 'proximity' [=NEAR] which finds terms within 10 words of each other in either direction.

Once students have found web sites, here's a very good web site for information regarding evaluating the quality of information on the internet.
< http://www.virtualchase.com/quality/index.html >

For those developing school webpages, here is a site I found that may be of use:
http://www.buddyproject.org/
Here you will find tips on developing publishing policies, publishing student work and a suggested form to use for acquiring student and parent permission to publish.


Extras

Looking for a simple, all-in-one search-engine web site?

Then see: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Help/search.html

A huge list of search engines
http://cui.unige.ch/meta-index.html

Search engine watch - all about the topic of "Search Engines". Always worth a look.
http://searchenginewatch.com/links/article.php/2156221



Put Together from various sources by
Wayne
March 2002
Update July 2005
 

Index

Wayne
Updated Nov. - Dec. 2004
Feb.  - June  2005