The instinct to just “Google it” is very strong in teachers and students alike when given the task of researching a topic or just finding out information. But did you know that Google goes way beyond that first page of search results? I mean, honestly, how many of you actually go to the second or even third page after you hit the submit button? If you don’t find what you are looking for on that first page, you will probably delete the word or words you typed in and try something else.
Since you are already putting in the extra work, why don’t you try doing it the way Google intended?
For a narrow search:
For example, say you want to look for STEM lessons. If you type the words STEM lessons into Google search, Google will search for both STEM and lessons as separate words. Is this search narrow enough (I got 36,500,00 results) for what you want? Probably not. If, however, you type “STEM Lessons” with added quotation marks, Google will search that exact phrase, narrowing your search (I got 20,300 results). Make sense?
For a broad search:
Let’s try another trick. Let’s search for websites about guided reading. Instead of just typing in guided reading, add an asterisk – *guided reading. In addition to sites about guided reading, Google searches items realated to the topic, such as book authors and publishers of guided reading materials.
A very useful tip:
Lastly, and I use this one all the time, tell Google to search sites that are most current by adding the date. If I do this: “STEM lessons” 2011..2013, Google will search for sites with the exact phrase STEM Lessons that were created between 2011 and 2013. The results are much more manageable now.
The coolest thing is that you can combine all of these together to find exaclty (well almost) what you are looking for without having to weed through the junk.