If you have not had the chance to see Google’s new Customized Search tool be sure to visit and get up to speed on this one! For educators this tool has amazing potential and real value, especially if you have your own classroom web page, blog, wiki, or Google Home Page to house your selection of special search engines!
You basically create your own mini-search engine based on the web sites YOU want your students (or others) to utilize. Rather than searching the bazillions of web pages available on educational topics you are in control of the sites to be tapped. First step: read the OVERVIEW and FAQ! And, take a look at the Featured Examples!
Imagine how helpful this is when you assign a research topic on, let’s say something very much in the news – Global Warming — and you want to have authoritative, reliable, current information.
You create a Customized Search by logging into your Google Account (create one – it is worth having just for this alone). You will use a form to complete the search details asking you to give your custom search a name, a description, and also to input the list of URLs you want to use.
You can select "use only these sites" or "search the entire web but emphasize these sites." Next, you allow others to contribute to the list of searchable sites or you may choose to limit this feature to only those whom you invite (say the rest of the HS Science Department). Of course, the last step will be to read and agree to the Terms of Service.
You now have your OWN custom search for students to tap more efficient and effective based on your skill in selecting the "best of the best" of the web resources! How cool!
Do you have any Goggle CUSTOM SEARCHES created yet? Have you collaborated with other educators in building specialized curriculum-related searches? Share here so we can all learn about them! That’s the power of the DEN… we COLLABORATE!