Power Search
Date: August 5, 2009
Presenter: Dave Montalvo
Room: L06

DESCRIPTIONBeen "googling" around for resources and lesson ideas? Tired of getting 0 hits or 3,000,000? Find out the limitations of search engines like Google, learn the Boolean skills that experts use to widen or narrow searches, and discover the extensive online resources carefully vetted by your librarians. Copyright, fair use, and transformative use of what you find online will also be discussed.


You may wish to copy this, open up TextEdit, and paste so that you can take notes.

1. Rationale

  • The changing job: Engineering Learning Environments (Dylan Wiliam)
  • E-mail forwards
  • The possibility of bad info - just because it's everywhere doesn't mean it's true
  • Search engine limitations - what can search engines find?
  • Search engine limitations - what percent of the www does it search?
  • Human limitations - how many hits can you look through?

2. A Good Start

  • E-mail forwards and virus scares
  • E-mail forwards - possibly more dangerous than viruses!
  • Always check before you forward

3. To Google or Not To Google

  • How do search engines work?
  • How does Google rank sites?
  • What won't search engines find?

4. Gateways to the Invisible Web

5. General Reference Sites

6. Subject Specific Gateways and Search Engines

7. Digital Imagery and Copyright

8. Digital Image Collections

9. Searching with Confidence

  • Search syntax: AND/OR and exact phrases
  • Site-specific searches on Google
  • What to do before you search
  • What to do if you turn up thousands of hits
  • What to do if you turn up no hits
  • What to do if the search engine finds it, but the page isn't there any more
  • Making sure you'll always have what you want once you find it

10. The Credibility Check

  • Just because it's on www.anyonecanputupawebsite.com doesn't mean it's true
  • TLDs: .com .edu .gov .net .uk .ru .de etc.
  • Going up a level and poking around - what kind of a site is it?
  • No guarantees, but: Is the grammar good? Is the tone appropriate? Is the information accurate?
  • Watch out for personal home pages and sites with information contributed by users