Digital Citizenship – Searching Tips

We all know that databases are amazing resources that are often underutilized as “just Google it” has become a common place for people young and old alike. This week’s Digital Passport lesson for our Grades 3-5 students is all about using keywords to help search more efficiently and effectively regardless of the search platform.

I have spent some time considering what I might want to add to the world of searching as so many people have published comprehensive lists of tips and tricks. Here are a few of my favorites:

Inside Search (Basic Google Tips)

Search Operators

Google – Search Education (Lessons and Challenges)

Sometimes it isn’t appropriate for all age groups to use Google as their default search engine. I was doing a little digging through Google Gooru and came across some inspiration that might make teachers of younger students sit up and say – YEAH! Remember, our school is using Chromebooks Grades 3-5 so by default they are using the Chrome web browser.

Take a look at this video about changing the default web browser:

This video got me thinking… what if teachers were able to help students change their default web browser to something more age appropriate? How might that help encourage the use of digital tools?  Let’s see how it might work…

  1. I opened a basic student friendly browser such as KidRex and clicked on the settings button for my Chrome browser.
  2. Under the basic search portion of Settings is the Search box where you can click on “Manage search engines” (see below)

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 1.20.12 PM

Students click on “Manage search engines” and at the bottom of the page under “Other search engines” find the search engine you would like to be default on that machine. In the example below we are wanting to make KidRex default. Once you have located the engine, click on “Make default” at the right of the selected line and now it will appear at the top of the list.

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 1.25.51 PM

At this point, when students open a new tab and start a search, the search goes through the newly selected search engine. Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 1.42.00 PMDon’t like that engine? You always have the option to go back to the most widely used search engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Ask.

Need a recommendation on which search engine is the best for your students? Either post your ideas below or start a conversation with your Library Media Specialist as they have a wealth of knowledge in the search area!

If you use this feature, please share out on #lpsleads so all educators learn from your successes and challenges!

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