Monthly Archives: August 2012

ETL 501 – Search Engine features and qualities


Working through the module excercises has certainly consolidated my need to develop an effective search strategy – try to use Boorlean logic and advanced search options as general search practice – must develop the habit!


This Noodletools link is very useful, I will certainly use it again for guidance. Which is the best search engine for my purpose?

Tried the following search engines:

InfomineVolcanoes schools teaching
2 results only- both for NASA Search engine – scholarly, some interesting video and images
Sweet SearchVolcanoes schools teaching
20 results – lesson plan ideas, lots of .gov sites, educational sites – a wonderful starting point for ideas and information. I can see this search engine being quite useful for background information for a teacher.
LibguidesVolcanoes schools teaching
Set Limit k-12
14 results all linking to pathfinders on topic created by librarians / school libraries / all recently updated
Extremely useful to see what other librarians are using, why reinvent the wheel? A wonderful starting point for a teacher, particularly if there was nothing like this or a librarian available in their school. Note – not all are accessible.

Google Advanced Search

Search: Olympics 2012 teaching
Originally tried limiting domain to. edu, .org, .uk with very limited results. Removed domain limits with better results (most .com or
I limited reading level to intermediate – useful to discover that you can then flip from basic to advanced reading levels
Played with different formats. Pdf format produced some great lesson plans
In the past I have used this feature mostly for searching images with free usage rights. I will now be using it regularly, particularly when looking for educational resources. The exercise certainly makes you think about your keywords in terms of information needs, there is trial and error, but still time saving in the long run.

Google Scholar and Google Books – neither used before
In Google books searched Olympics – interesting results, I liked the links to world cat to locate titles in local libraries. Could be useful for students looking for texts not available in school library.
Google News – never used
Normally would go to newspaper sites or use Ebsco/Informit etc.
Quite impressed – Perfect for top stories, visual, very easy to navigate, Archives option – free

Knowledge 2.0
Google Advanced Search : Gold Discovery (impact OR affect) teaching
49,000 results
Using limits for reading level, region made a difference

Dogpile advanced search : Gold Discovery Victoria (impact OR affect)NOT california
Total number of hits – Not listed
Excellent results by adding Victoria to search. Not as many options for limits. Need to be more specific with Boorlean operators

Bing : gold discovery victoria (impact OR affect) teaching -california -america
15,000 Results
Better results when limiting California and America from search. Limit to Region/ Australia. Not as many options for limits. Need to be more specific with Boorlean operators. Refer to cheat sheet (Boswells)

Website evaluation


Why evaluate websites?

Anyone can publish something on the web, and anyone on the Internet can say they are an expert. Putting documents or pages on the web is easy, cheap or free and unregulated. Unlike printed publications there are no editors. Many websites can be deliberately misleading, hoax’s even. Students now need skills to determine authenticity and authority of information available to them on the web.

According to Herring  (2010 ,p. 36) teachers and teacher librarians need to be experts in evaluating web based resources and that effective website evaluation should be a core competency for teachers and TL’s. Herring also maintains that teachers & TL’s have a “professional and ethical responsibility to use the best available information” (2010, p. 37). Effective evaluation ensures that the websites used are” fit for purpose and enhance teaching and learning”.

There are many sets of website evaluation criteria … some suit the needs of teachers, some are more useful for students. TL’s can advise teachers of the best criteria to use:

  • Schrock (5 W’s)
  • University of QLD Library (or others)
  • Herring (E,R & T)

Herring, J. (2011). Improving students’ web use and information literacy: A guide for teachers and teacher librarians. London: Facet.

Schrock, K. (2002). The ABC’s of website evaluation Classroom. In Classroom connect. Retrieved from 10/8/2012