Teaching Students About Search Engines

web search

Web Search in the Classroom

No student’s research arsenal is complete without a thorough understanding of how to use search engines. Search engines are the ubiquitous tools for information gathering online, but they must be used properly, and their results must be evaluated for credibility, otherwise a student is likely to either waste time or return with poor-quality information. Use this Web Search in the Classroom guide to gain an overview of what search engines are and how they work, and learn how to teach your students about them.

The Web is filled with sites overflowing with information and help for homework assignments. But how do students know if a Web site is a good one? How do they know if the information it contains is truly reliable? The Students’ Guide to Web Search helps students learn how to tell a good site from a bad site, and shows them how to start searching smart.

No search engine is perfect, but armed with a few tips for better searching you can get great results out of (almost) any search engine. Use the tips in findingDulcinea’s Make Search Engines Work for You feature to help students get better search results.

The Web can be an overwhelming place for young students, but in today’s technology-driven world they need to take advantage of all it has to offer. Parents and teachers can equip children with the skills needed to search wisely, recognize unreliable material and stay safe while surfing the Web. Consult the findingDulcinea Teachers’ and Parents’ Guide to Web Search for further information.

Teaching Students About Search Engines

Putting together information found elsewhere in this guide and on the Web can be a great way to teach students about search engines. But for a more concrete starting point, consult some of the Web’s many teacher-reviewed search engine lesson plans. Find them using the sites in this section.

Top Sites for Teaching Students About Search Engines

Lesson Planet has a searchable database of lesson plans. Enter “search engines” into the site’s search function, and you’ll be greeted by over 4,000 search engine lesson plans for students of all ages. The site requires visitors to create accounts before accessing content. Use the free trial before deciding whether you’d like to buy an account.

The Educator’s Reference Desk is a free lesson plan database with a handful of useful search engine lesson plans. Like with Lesson Planet, search the site for “search engine” and browse the results.

Purdue University has lesson outlines for teaching students how to use search engines and other online tools.

The Four NETS for Better Searching has a lesson guide and rubric for teaching kids how to use Google.

Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators has resources for using the Web and teaching students about it. These resources center around evaluating site credibility.
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