These lessons may not be used for professional development
Searching for the Grail?
Power Searching with Digital Logic
|1. Question and draw before you search||6. Go to the source|
|2. Learn the syntax||7. Be discrete|
|3. Learn the features||8. Cull your findings|
|4. Start big and broad||9. Be playful|
|5. Browse before grazing||10. Use only the best|
Search engines don't work well on the almost unlimited, often unstructured resources of the Internet, says J. Pemberton:
"Think of a search engine as a dog whistle. Blow it in a kennel and you'll just attract dogs. Blow it in a zoo, and you'll get a few dogs, plus many other creatures with good high frequency hearing: maybe some lions or tigers, hyenas, coyotes, timber wolves, perhaps a moose. . . . The point is this: the Internet is a zoo." Jeffery K. Pemberton's column in Online User Magazine, May/June 1996.
Think and draw before you plunge. Make a list of great questions.
Take advantage of mindware like Inspiration to create a cluster diagram with several dozen concepts, keywords and telling questions which will be powerfully instrumental later when executing your search. (Inspiration download)
You ask your students to work as teams to propose a mix of laws and government programs which would serve to protect old growth forests while restoring the vitality of this nation's timber industry.
You send them to one particularly intriguing article to start them thinking.
You ask them to work in teams to create cluster diagrams listing as many pertinent concepts and keywords as possible.
| Workshop Activity:
Throughout this workshop you will employ Internet search engines to explore one challenging question in considerable depth.
You may create your own question provided that it is a question, not just a topic. Some questions may not be well treated by the "free Internet" so it may pay to select a current issue of some kind so that you experience some level of success.
Step One - Decide upon a question.
Here are some suggestions:
Step Two - Draw and think
Create as rich a cluster diagram as possible using whatever drawing program you have available on the computer. If you are limited to a word processor, write your question at the top and create lists of associated concepts and keywords. This is a good time to use a thesaurus to broaden your choices.
You want to approach your search with word choices which will allow you to explore all the important aspects and dimensions of the issue.
Note: While cluster diagrams can also be drawn on paper, it pays to explore the benefits of electronic tools.
Other drawings, photographs and graphics are by Jamie McKenzie.
© 2000-2006, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved.