Unit Two: Using Advanced Search Techniques


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Back to Lesson Two: Creating Guiding Questions

Forward to Lesson Three: Advanced Searching Techniques

The Searching Process

You may have used Google before to search for information. Users all over the world are going to https://www.google.com/ and entering text in the search box or field. After this they click the 'Google search' button below. This type of search is called a basic search. If you are unfamiliar with searching, please try the following optional activity below or if you are familiar with using Google, you can skip the activity and proceed to lesson three if you choose.

What makes a search a good search?

In this Unit we'll begin by learning what Google actually is and how it works. Then we'll discuss different options you have within using Google to search as you gather your resources. You might have tried completing a basic search as described below, but you can improve your search by adding limitations. What makes a good search? Narrowing your focus and your options to find the types of resources you want.

Before we begin this second unit, please complete the following optional activity if you are not familiar with basic Google searching.

Optional Activity: Basic Searching


Here's a short video of what searching in Google can look like. In this brief demonstration, 'Internet resources' is entered (even though the prompt mentions asking a question). You'll notice that at the end of this clip, it sends you to a page of results about 'Internet resources'.

Open the link below in a separate tab or window: Internet resources search

Try: Your First Basic Search

1. In a separate window or tab, go to https://www.google.com/.

2. For your first search, type 'educational technology' in the box.

3. Click the 'Google search' button or the magnifying glass icon. Both will bring you results. You may find that Google begins to complete the words 'educational technology' as you type them. Feel free to keep typing the complete phrase or choose the terms from the suggested search terms that Google suggests underneath the search bar.

4. Browse your first page of results. Do you notice that the first few have a small yellow icon that says 'Ad'? That means that advertisers pay for Google for advertising their resources first. Click on a few of the resources of your choice (clicking the back button to go back to your search). You might also try clicking on the images or 'in-depth' articles located toward the bottom of the page.

5. Now that you're familiar with what a Google search results page looks like, scroll to the very bottom of the page. Do you notice the long word, GOOOOOOOOOOOOGLE? The linked numbers are additional pages you can click to find more search results. In general, Google often responds to searches with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of results in less than a second. Curious? Scroll back up to the top of the page to see how many results Google found for you.

6. Try searching a basic search for yourself. Enter a topic of your choice and view your results. When you're finished exploring, proceed to lesson three.

Unit Two Learning Objectives

After this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Identify limiting criteria in Google's advanced searching form
  • Use limiting criteria to search for resources
  • Describe the differences in results using a basic search and an advanced search

Now that you've learned more about the topic of searching, complete the activities in lesson three and four before moving on to the next unit.

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Forward to Lesson Three: Advanced Searching Techniques