16 July 2012

Power Searching (Google MOOC)

Do you spend hours searching for materials for your students?  Or searching for information that will help you teach something in class?  Or just for your own personal or professional development you want to learn a little bit more about something?  Well....if you do, you need to have great search skills.

When I saw the Google Power Searching online free course I thought I'd sign up for it and see what I could learn.  I already know a lot of the secrets to cut down search time, such as "allintitle", "-" or just plain "xxx" to narrow search queries - in fact I included some popular operators (the technical term) in a teacher training session I recently gave to help teachers find materials on Youtube (which use more or less the same operators).  So, I have to admit, that half way through the course, I haven't really learned anything new yet related to search operatores.

That doesn't mean I'm wasting my time.  It's making me sit down and think about all the different information, links and colours on a Google results page and how I could use it all to benefit my students and my own personal/professional development.  I've also learned about A Google a Day Challenges and think that would be a great classroom activity for English learners to practise reading skills - as well as honing their search skills.  I've also learned that in Google Earth you can find famous treks and expeditions that you can download and save on your computer.  This could be really useful for geographical vocabulary!

Maybe in the second half of the courseI'll discover some more neat goodies and tricks to hone in my search skills.  If not, I'll look forward to learning more about other Google goodies that I can use with my students!

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