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21st Century Information Fluency Project: Conducting Effective Web Searches

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required

Website: http://21cif.com/tools/

Website Example: https://21cif.com/directory.php

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Computer(s), Internet access, projector

Activity Description

Teach your students how to conduct effective Web searches with the Search Wizard tool.

Designed by educators for educators (and students), this site offers three tools that make it easy to teach the essential steps of locating, evaluating, and ethically using digital resources:

  1. Search Wizard: helps students learn how to build good Web searches
  2. Evaluation Wizard: helps students evaluate Web sites
  3. Citation Wizard: helps students build citations (in five styles) to be used in research papers or documents.

Preparation

  1. Students should be familiar with conducting Web searches using Google.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the search fields used in the Search Wizard tool. Use the Advanced Search help, if necessary (yellow stars with question marks).
  3. Practice using the Search Wizard with real examples that you can use to demonstrate the tool in class.
  4. Create Web search practice scenarios to help your students practice the search skills. Have them build the Web search and answer some questions based on the results of their search.

How-To

  1. Introduce the topic by asking students to identify what information they have searched for online. List this on the board or in a word processing document.
  2. Ask students if they have ever had difficulty finding information online. Discuss briefly and tell them they will be learning how to build good Web searches in this lesson.
  3. Display the Search Wizard tool  using the digital projector.
  4. Explain each of the advanced search boxes, enter example searches and direct students' attention to the Google search at the bottom of the screen. For example, exact phrases need to be put in quotes when conducting a Web search: a search for Cosumnes River College should be entered like this: "Cosumnes River College"
  5. Practice these skills by giving a few scenarios and asking students to identify how they would enter this information into a Web search. Conduct the searches at Google  to see if the desired information was found.
  6. Direct them to this Web site and have them practice the scenarios you developed.

Teacher Tips

There are lots of challenges and activities that the teacher can do along with the students.

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Levels

  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced

Standards

Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
  • (7.3) Demonstrate ability to use problem-solving skills
  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • (7.6) Demonstrate the ability to view the media critically
  • (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.