Thursday, September 9, 2010

Research Tools

Most students and teachers are familiar with Google and its search capabilities. Google does have many advanced search tools as well as Wonder Wheel and Timeline. These tools are easy to use and help to narrow a search for teacher and/or student.

I have been sharing some other tools with my class this year that they found interesting and useful. Mashpedia is a new tool that I think is awesome. It provides good results for searches that are narrow and diverse. When you search for a topic on Mashpedia you will see You Tube videos, information from news sources, blogs, and books. The really cool thing about using the books feature is that it takes you to Google Books which very often will provide the ability to read a chapter or two from each book. Some books are shown in their entirety! You will also see Tweets from Twitter in your search results, this is key because tweets are typically very current information so if you are researching a currently topic you can get up to the minute results. You will also see facebook posts, wikipedia information on the topic and images. This happens all in one place making it easier for student to get a variety of information from several sources. It is also very visual for all of us visual learners.

Sweet Search is another great tool for school research. When you enter a topic into the search box you will get only educator approved information from trusted educational resources. Sweet Search evaluates their resources using content experts in various fields. It is excellent for students because it provides good sources for them and it also better narrows their search results unlike a typical Google search.

Try these in your classes and I am sure that your students will like them and produce better results on assignments.

1 comment:

Mark Moran said...

Thank you for this review of SweetSearch! We truly believe it's the best search engine for students, and we'll be introducing some terrific innovations soon. Here's a post that explains how we created SweetSearch, and shows some side-by-side comparisons with Google and Bing: