Tired of sifting through millions of sites for key information. Having trouble finding just what you are looking for? This intermediate level class is for users that want to refine their searching skills and plan for student searching success. The session will provide participants with an abundance of methods for locating, evaluating and storing useful information from the world wide web. Learn how to choose the best keywords to find exactly what you need to better assist students with their efforts. Participants will design a classroom search skills lesson and organize a central location for storage of resource sites for use with/by their students.
Audience: K-12 Teachers and Paraeducators ~ Instructor: Michelle Krill

Getting Started

What is your goal for today? Click here to post a personal goal and see the goals of others.


With the abundance of available information, how can we search efficiently and effectively? Learning how the search process works gives insight into how we can 'ask the right question' when we search.

How Search Works


Information Literacy Quiz
Google A Day

Search Tips

Host/Site Command
In Google use the site command to find specific information on a specific website. Type site:(domain name) + (search term)

  • To find information about polio on the CDC site: site:cdc.gov +polio
  • To find information about polio vaccine on the CDC site: site:cdc.gov +polio +vaccine or site:cdc.gov + "polio vaccine"
  • To find the York interviews NPR did: site:npr.org +York + PA
  • To find information on Sylvia Plath on the Poets.org site: site:poets.org + "Sylvia Plath"
  • To find information about poetry on the Thinkfinity site: site:thinkfinity.org +poetry

Finding Specific Information from Global Sites
For this, you would need to know the country internet codes. You can find them here.

From Alan November:
  • To find academic sites in Great Britain about the American Revolution: site:ac.uk +"American Revolution"
  • To find information on the American election in France: site:fr +america +election

Similar Search
Try using the "Similar Pages" link when you get results from a Google search. You find a great site, click the "Similar Pages" to find more!


  • Google Squared ~ What is it? Google Squared extracts data from Web pages and presents them in search results as squares in an online spreadsheet.
  • Wolfram Alphais a Computational Knowledge Engine ~ Wolfram|Alpha introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers—not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods.
  • Alta Vista (now Yahoo)
  • Dogpile~ A metasearch engine that fetches results from Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask.com, About.com and several other popular search engines, including those from audio and video content providers.
  • Schmoop~ Shmoop will make you a better lover (of literature, history, life). See many sides to the argument. Find your writing groove. Understand how lit and history are relevant today. We want to show your brain a good time.


Now that we are better at searching, how can we be sure the information we found is the real thing? Learn the questions to ask once you arrive at a site to evaluate the creator and content! Then determine if the resources are safe for students to use in projects.

What's in a URL? What's in the content? Who is the author? What can Links tell us?

Is it true?

ABC's of Web Literacy Tutorial

Eight-point evaluation checklist from UC Berkley:
  • What can the URL tell you?
  • Who wrote the page? Is he, she, or the authoring institution a qualified authority?
  • Is it dated? Current, timely?
  • Is information cited authentic?
  • Does the page have overall integrity and reliability as a source?
  • What's the bias?
  • Could the page or site be ironic, like a satire or a spoof?
  • If you have questions or reservations, how can you satisfy them?

Martin Luther King Search
South American News
All About Explorers
Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus


The Wayback Machine

Is it copyright safe?

external image 4371001458_5e12899950_m.jpgDigital responsibility is an important value to foster in students. When locating text, graphics or other resources it is important to evaluate the materials for fair use. Learn ways to start the search with materials that are copyright safe, under creative commons license. We will use a fair use evaluator to evaluate situations for digital responsibility. (Another Fair Use Evaluator)

Just the Facts:
Stanford University Libraries Fair Use Explanation
...explicitly allows use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is the most significant limitation on the copyright holder's exclusive rights. Deciding whether the use of a work is fair IS NOT a science. There are no set guidelines that are universally accepted. Instead, the individual who wants to use a copyrighted work must consider the following four factors:
1. The Transformative Factor - Purpose and Character of Use ~ Copying and using selected parts of copyrighted works for specific educational purposes qualifies as fair use, especially if the copies are made spontaneously, are used temporarily, and are not part of an compilation. At issue is whether the material has been used to help create something new, or merely copied verbatim into another work. (Scenario)
When taking portions of copyrighted work, ask yourself the following questions:
..........>> Has the material you have taken from the original work been transformed by adding new expression or meaning?
......... >> Was value added to the original by creating new information, new aesthetics, new insights and understandings?
2. Nature of the Copyrighted Work: For copying paragraphs from a copyrighted source, fair use easily applies. For copying a chapter, fair use may be questionable. There is more leeway to copy from factual works such as biographies than from from fictional works, such as plays or novels. (Scenario)
3. Amount and Substantiality of Portion Taken: Duplicating excerpts that are short in relation to the entire copyrighted work or segments that do not reflect the "essence" of the work is usually considered fair use. (Scenario)
4. The Effect of Use on the Market: If there will be no reduction in sales because of copying or distribution, the fair use exemption is likely to apply. This is the most important of the four tests for fair use (Princeton University). (Scenario)

Creative Commons ~ What is it?

Google Advanced Search (Read about it.)


Phew! Now that we have located and evaluated, where can we keep all the valuable information so it is organized and readily accessible?

external image 4619678791_643bc79308_m.jpg
  • Google Custom Search ~ Make your own search box!
  • Diigo~If you browse or read a lot on the web, we believe you will find Diigo indispensable. Diigo is two services in one -- it is a research and collaborative research tool on the one hand, and a knowledge-sharing community and social content site on the other.
  • Livebinders~ LiveBinders is your 3-ring binder for the web. See some public binders here.
  • Symbaloo ~ Your personal internet desktop.
  • Wiki >
  • WIkispaces
  • Google Site
  • Jog the Web

Classroom Implementation



Explicit or Embedded Instruction?


How could this be used in your classroom?


  • Have students search for class resources relating to a particular theme or unit of study. Have them find four or five sites on the topic and have students evaluate the content of each. Discuss the ABC's of web literacy, while students are gathering resources for you!
  • Have students use the The Wayback Machine to review sites.
  • Use a Google Custom Search or have students create their own!


Wiki, Google Site, Jog the Web


Mmkrill's Favorite Links on search from Diigo


Copyright image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4371001458/sizes/o/in/photostream/
Locker image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/benhusmann/4619678791/sizes/s/in/photostream/