Alan November: effective searching

I recently attended a workshop by Alan November that focused on ways to teach students effective internet use and searching. Alan had some interesting tips and tricks that readers may find useful (I certainly did!)

  • Wikipedia puts title of article at end of URL, so there is more chance of it coming up first in a Google search.
  • After that (as long as there has not been a payment for boosting results), it’s the number of links from other sites that affects ranking.
  • Alta vista is a good search engine for finding links coming in.

How do you find the author/publisher of a website?

  • Go to where you can look up domain name registration application.
  • On the web, you often don’t know if something is true or not. We need to teach students tools for cross referencing and validating information. More information and examples here.

Websites to validate

  • Have a look at some of these websites. Purposely show this to help students make meaning.

How to read a web address

  • Chop off end of web address to go to root site, sounds easy enough but more information on teaching this here.
  • See which organisations use which domains:
  • Go to alta vista link:web address
  • Britain schools higher ed
  • Url:k12 to see which schools are using it. great ideas on how other teachers are using it.

The history of websites and leaving your digital footprint even when you think it’s been erased.

  • Teach students not to ruin the rest of their life today! finds sites even when sites have been deleted. Copy URL, delete http:// then paste, click ‘take me back’. Archive also shows website changes over time. Can show origins of websites. See here for more information.
  • ~ means personal subdirectory, which is someone’s own opinion.
  • US Freedom of speech protects all sites, even if they are malicious ones.
  • .org in the US is not designated for non profit sites.
  • Anyone can apply for a .org

There is a grammar, syntax and punctuation to the web. Once you know the rules, it is a different animal. Every teacher should teach and these reinforce skills.

Wolfram alpha answers all maths and chemistry problems. Maths and science teachers may like to reassess homework they set because of this.

10 thoughts on “Alan November: effective searching

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  4. Thank you for sharing these notes. They are a great reminder of Alan’s workshop with useful links to further information. Much appreciated as there was so much information given during the workshop i attended I wasnt able to record half of it!

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  7. Thanks for passing these tips along. Searching effectively is key in order to not waste time and to find exactly what you are looking for. I wish I would’ve learned a lot more about searching in school!

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