Tag Archive for 'Google'

Do I just Google that? Tools for Teaching Search Skills in the Primary Classroom

Nowadays many pupils, when given a research task, immediately might think to themselves, “I’ll just Google that.” Internet search engines (of which Google is only one of many) are powerful tools but many pupils use only a fraction of the power of them, and then can also have difficulty finding the information specific to the task. There are many resources now available to help in developing pupil skills in searching more effectively using online search engines. And, of course, when they do find information how do pupils know it is appropriate for the task? Or how do they evaluate what is suitable, and how do they present it and show where the information was found.

Tools to Help Teach Research Skills

The Big 6

One method of teaching information skills for investigating sources of information from databases, encyclopedias and the Internet is that known as “the Big Six.” This process sets out the steps as follows:

1. Define the task – what needs to be done?

2. Information Seeking Strategies – what resources can I use?

3. Location and Access – where can I find these resources?

4. Use of information – what can I use from these resources?

5. Synthesis – what can I make to finish the job?

6. Evaluation – how will I know I did my job well?

The Kentucky Virtual Library How to Do Research

The Kentucky Virtual Library has an online poster-style How to Do Research site for guiding younger pupils through the steps to finding the information they need on any topic, whether in print form, multimedia or online. Presented in a visual comic/game style it explains in child-friendly language the process to find the information being sought. And each page of advice is presented as a set of easy to digest straightforward steps, breaking down each task (whether finding the information, recording it, evaluating it, or presenting it) in cartoon-style visual interactive style making it attractive to primary users.

Finding Duclinea

Finding Dulcinea – How to Search the Internet – aimed at older pupils, this provides a host of helpful tips and links to a variety of resources about searching and using information from the Internet. It includes sections on What Is the Internet, Web Site Credibility, How Search Engines Work, Choosing a Search Engine, Online Databases, Social Bookmarking Tools, How to Cite a Source.

Ergo – Teaching Research Skills

Ergo – Teaching Research Skills from the State Library of Victoria, Australia, is a guide for pupils to finding the information they need for a school assignment. The guide provides helpful explanations, hints, tips and further resources for each of the steps: Define the task, Locate information, Select resources, Organise notes, Present the ideas, Evaluate your work.

Common Sense Media Digital Curriculum

Common Sense Media Digital Curriculum has a section on teaching online research for various age groups. Each section has lesson plans with ideas and resources for teaching different aspects of research online with pupils. Teachers can select resources according to age group or stage (all stages in primary school are included, and resources are age-appropriate), resources to support the research topics which best suit the needs of pupils.

All About Explorers

All About Explorers has been designed as an interactive Internet search task to guide pupils through making more discerning use of information presented online. The task includes a range of spoof material to help show primary pupils how to evaluate what they read online, and how to be selective about the information they find. The tasks are presented to pupils as an interactive Webquest. There is a section for teachers which includes a series of lessons and explanations of what the pupils are learning about better online searching as they complete each webquest.

Save the Tree Octopus – an example of a spoof website which could be used to show pupils that, even though the site looks very well put together and with a host of features to make it look authoritative, websites can provide completely fictitious information.

Ten Tips for Teaching How to Research and Filter Information

Ten Tips for Teaching Students How to Research and Filter Information – a post by Kathleen Morris which details advice for ten steps for showing primary school pupils how to find and use information: Search, Delve, Source, Validity, Purpose, Background, Teach, Justify, Path, Cite. 

Google Tools for Better Searching

Google has produced a series of posters for educators to help support pupils use the Internet search engine more effectively.

Google A Day is a daily-changing search challenge which could be used by a class to make better use of a search engine. Each day a new challenge is presented (and you can go back to previous challenges if you wish). Each challenge is presneted as a question which pupils are challenged to answer by using the search engine. If not sure how to get started pupils can click on the hint to get a bit of help to guide how to make a better search to find the answer. And the answer itself is provided. In addition there are links to tips and techniques for better Internet searching.

Google for Educators is a collection of resources collated by David Andrade on his Educational Technology Guy blog. This brings together a series of resources providing tips, ideas and guides to how the vast array of Google tools can be used in schools, including how to find what you’re wanting using  the search engine.

Interesting Ways to Use Google Search in the Classroom is a collection of ideas collected by Tom Barrett shared by many teachers – like others in the “Interesting ideas” series it grows as more teachers contribute ideas. So if you have a way you have used Google Search in your classroom then you too can add yours there too.

Google Guide is an online interactive tutorial and reference for experienced users, novices, and everyone in between. Nancy Blachman developed Google Guide to provide more information about Google’s capabilities, features, and services. There are hints and ideas, a printable sheet of tips,  and interactive exercises teachers can use with pupils to guide them them through making use of different techniques for more effective searching for information.

Entire Guide to Google Search Features for teachers and Students by Mohamed Kharbach details steps, tips and tools to make better use of the Google search engine, from the basics to advanced searching to using a variety of features of the search engine in many different contexts.

Google Search Education Evangelism is a site with lessons to download for free, including Powerpoint presentations and guides for printing about making the best of Google search tools. These are arranged in categories and for different audiences, whether teachers self-study or for use with pupils.

Google Search Education has lesson plans and video tutorials in categories of various search skills in using Google. Within each category there are then tutorials presneted to suit different skill levels.

10 Google Search Tips by Catlin Tucker provides 10 Questions & 10 Answers to Help You or your pupils Search Smarter!

12 Ways to use Google Search by Degree of Difficulty is a series of lessons by Jeff Dunn providing graded techniques for being better at using the search facility with Google – for each step there are three levels of difficulty so you just choose which best suits your need for your class.

PhD in Googling! An Animated presentation on tips to using Google search engine. Thanks to David Andrade for sharing this. PhD in Googling presents a series of graphically interesting screens with nugget-sized tips on each page, and with animated text appearing, explaining the tip.

Update Your Search methods – a blog post by Chris Betcher explaining how in 2013 Google changed the way the seacrh engibe works to better interpret plain English questions, the way someone would ask a question if speaking, rather than relying on keywords.

Get More Out of Google is a poster with advice and practical tips for making more eficient use of Google search engine.

Ideas to Inspire – tips for using classroom tools shared by many teachers

Looking for ideas to help you use online tools in the classroom? Not sure how to make best use of that ICT equipment in your school? Just looking for fresh approaches to using tools with which you are already familiar?

Well Mark Warner has created Ideas to inspire to help teachers everywhere. And it collects ideas generously shared by many, many teachers into grouped presentations. You can browse through anything which grabs your attention or choose a presentation on a topic about which you are looking for some help. There are presentations on using images in imaginative ways in the classroom, interactive whiteboard ideas, making use of digital cameras, ideas for maths and numeracy, literacy, active geography and much, much more. There are ideas for making engaging classroom displays, tips for incorporating games based learning into learning, and hints for making internet research more meaningful – and each presentation continues to grow as further teachers add their ideas too – so it is always worth rediscovering – indeed they are Ideas to Inspire!

Picasa 3 for your Pictures – working with images

Picasa 3 is free downloadable software (from http://picasa.google.com/) which lets you manage and manipulate your photographs.  You can apply several effects to each photograph, you can resize, crop and create collages , slideshows or videos. 

You can create large posters to whatever size you wish from your photograph which prints on the paper in your printer but overlaps to let you piece it together at the larger size.

You can create a collage of any number of images and have full control over resizing, rotating and layering these in any way you wish.

You can batch export a whole group of photographs to a folder – handy when your digital camera produces high-quality large filesize photographs and you need to quickly resize a whole group for putting onto a website or blog.

You can create a video slideshow with animations and transitions along with audio.

Picasa’s own helpguide and tutorials can be found here: http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=14609&hl=en

See the following for answers from TechEase to several Frequently Asked Questions about using Picasa:
http://etc.usf.edu/techease/win/images/ – this also includes other helpful information about digital images in general.

Video tutorials on using Picasa from LearningElectric.com can be found here:

Resize multiple pictures for use on a website or blog by using Picasa – here’s how

Excellent introductory video to Picasa 3

Google Earth in the primary classroom

http://www.google.com/earth/index.html Google Earth allows you to travel the world through a virtual globe and view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, and much more.  You can navigate to locations anywhere in the world.   And it is free to download.

So you have Google Earth on your computer and you want to know how to use it?  Click the link below for a useful guide to getting starting navigating around Google earth.


For classroom resources click on the link below:


The link below provides 10 ideas for using Google Earth with your class:


Links to a variety of Google Earth classroom resources

For an extensive collection of classroom activities with step by step videos and plans, whether for teacher led presentations or pupil activities click on the link below:


The link below takes you to Richard Byrne’s guide to using Google Earth across the Curriculum


http://olliebray.typepad.com/olliebraycom/google_earth/ Ollie Bray has provided a number of useful tips for using Google Earth in the classroom.

Creating Projects in Google Earth is a post by Tim Stahmer specifically about Google Earth layers, but also with a host of links to associated resources for using Google Earth in the classroom.

Google Sketchup for creating 3D images in the classroom

Google Sketchup is free downloadable software for creating 3D images.  It is installed on all Falkirk primary school PCs and it can also be downloaded from http://sketchup.google.com/.  Google Sketchup can be used to create simple 3D images of classsroom or household objects, or buildings or streets.  It comes complete with inbuilt tutorials which provide a great way to get started.

http://www.3dvinci.net/teacherguide/Teacher_Guide.htm This is a teacher guide to uses of Google Sketchup at different age ranges with examples and step by step guides.

The videos below give a quick introduction to what Google Sketchup can do.

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For a whole series of video  tutorials for getting started go here: http://sketchup.google.com/training/videos/new_to_gsu.html

Below is an example of a video tutorial showing an example of how to incorporate Sketchup in history teaching where the tutorial shows how to create a Motte and Bailey castle in Google Sketchup.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/a3ApWaoJxpg" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]


And when you want to go even futher with Google Sketchup there are several Google Sketchup online communities with tutorials and galleries of examples of work created using Google Sketchup here http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-free-tutorial-websites-improve-google-sketchup-3d-design-skills/

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