“Search on Smarty Pants.” Improve Search Skills with Google Scholar & A Google A Day

Educators across all content areas realize it is critical for students to be able to conduct effective online research. When students are assigned a research project for their classes, most go straight to Google. A better strategy, and one more suited for academic purposes, would be to help your students learn to use Google ScholarScreen Shot 2013-10-08 at 9.13.38 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 9.14.01 PMWith Google Scholar, students can search a broad collection of scholarly materials including articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court documents. Content found in Google Scholar comes from “academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other credible web sites.” Google Scholar features top publications in a comprehensive list of academic subject areas and is available in 9 different languages. In addition, Google Scholar provides a great list of search tips that every student should learn in order to become a true “tech ninja.”  Want to go even deeper? Expose  your students to “inside search” where they can learn more about how search works, explore the knowledge graph carousel, and how their voice can be used to conduct a search.

Once you decide to employ Google Scholar, the next challenge for many educators may become, “how do I get my students excited and motivated to search?” One possible answer is to add “A Google a Day” to your daily or weekly routine. A Google a Day is essentially a daily trivia game where students must use their search skills to solve a problem. The game is also available via a classroom challenge and is offered in four categories. Google also provides a series of beginner, intermediate, and advanced Search Literacy lesson plans designed to get your students engaged and excited about using technology to conduct online research. These types of lessons are perfect to integrate into a digital literacy curriculum.

A Google a Day is also on Twitter, uses #agoogleaday, and tweets a daily puzzle that students must solve using their creativity and search skills. Google will Tweet the answer to their daily question and will often recognize the person who answers correctly and in the shortest amount of time. This takes search to a whole new level of fun, and promotes responsible digital citizenship amongst your students, as they will be using Twitter appropriately and positively to showcase their learning.

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Want to go even deeper?
Google features live training webinars designed to help you improve your own search skills and bring the power of Google into your classroom!

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