Yes. It’s a noun. But more and more often, we use the word as a verb.
The problem? We really don’t know how to use it very well. A recent study claims that
students might have grown up with the language of the information age, but they do not necessarily know the grammar.
They can use Google but they seldom find the best results because they fail to understand how to structure their searches. And . . . us old people? Not much better.
So a few tips:
1. Use the advanced search feature at Google.com. Find the Advanced Search options by clicking the Gear symbol in the very top right hand corner of the Google.com screen.
After clicking Advanced Search, you’ll find a screen that lets you be very specific about what you are looking for. You and your kids need to start using this screen to add specific phrases, eliminate keywords that might appear in the results that you don’t want, search by date, search for a specific file type like PowerPoint or PDF, search in a specific domain such as CNN.com and in a specific areas of a web site such as the title.
2. And once you get your results back, be sure to use the filters and tools along the left-hand side of the screen. A default Google search looks for everything but you can also narrow the search to images, videos, books, blogs, places and discussions.
You can also use a variety of tools to filter your results even further. I especially like the Sites with Images, Timeline, Dictionary and Reading Level. This one is especially helpful as you differentiate your instruction. You and students need to also take advantage of the Time filter, allowing you to be very specific about the age of your results.
3. Want to search with your voice rather than typing into a search box? Try Voice Search. Right now it works just with the Google Chrome browser but once you get used to it, it can save some serious time.
4. The Google Image search has similar filters to the left. Search by file size, type of image and time.
5. Search for images with an actual image rather by text. This allows you to search Google’s database by inserting a photo of the battle of Gettysburg, for example, and getting results based on that image. While at the Google Images search page, click the camera icon within the search box. You’ll can find information about the photographer, data about the image, online sites that incorporate that image and links to other relevant information. This new search works with landmarks, pieces of art, logos and more.
6. Need some review? How about a great big classroom poster with tons of search tips? Google’s got ’em.