In a 1:1 iPad classroom, Google is a student’s best friend. However, we cannot assume that, just because these students are stuck to their devices 24/7, they are digital natives. Google has so many more functions than simply typing text into the search box that students aren’t aware off. Teaching these tricks will make their searches much more efficient.
Google’s Research Scientist Daniel M. Russel has got a blog devoted to Google search efficiency. Every Wednesday he posts a different search challenge. Usually of something he himself wanted to find out, more information on a snippet from a radio show, a piece of art he saw in passing or, like last week, figuring out a location from a photo.
Try it out for yourself: “What was I doing when I took this photo”
Select the whited out words below to view the asnwer.
The correct answer is: Standing in line for the Van Gogh Museum. You could figure this out by noticing the Hard Rock Cafe sign with “near Leidseplein” a quick google search would have shown Leidseplein is in Amsterdam. The blue “Randstad” would have led you to the Randstad office opposite the Van Gogh Museum.
Out of all of the Wednesday Search Challenges this is probably the only one I could do it a quick exercises, as many of my students cycle past here weekly and would recognise the Amsterdam style of houses. The rest of the challenge are quite difficult and would probably take too long for students to complete to do it as an exercises in class.
However, Google has devoted an entire site to teaching search in the classroom, with Google a day exercises and entire lesson plans.
I think I will use some of the Google a day presentations as warm-up activities. They come in different categories so they can be used in all classes. As they should be. After all, learning how to google does not solely belong in ICT lessons.
For one of my lessons I will put the students in groups and let them go through this NearPod presentation rather than a different method. I want to use the NearPod presentation as it will also allow me to add interactive images to the presentations and allow students to draw one of the answers.
The presentation also includes explanation of the results but ideally I would have the students take over the screen via Apple TV and explain how they found their answers.
At the end of the challenge students get to sign their own Google Search certificates.
You can watch the questions below. As soon as my Educational Nearpod account kicks in I’ll share it with you here as well.
Sharing this poster or hanging it on your wall will help start your students off.