Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Are You Searching For? Part 2

New studies reveal students are indeed having more trouble searching the Internet that we realize. This podcast discusses the way parents can help mentor and motivate children to refine their information search skills.


Ms. Tonhauser
NPR (2010). Study: Not All Kids Are Computer Whizzes. Retrieved from
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122893913

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What Are You Searching For?

Search Engines

Search engines are tools intended to help people search out information on the World Wide Web. Some of the information retrieved by search engines includes websites, images, video as well as many other types of files. When searching the web, there are a few basic tips to remember:
• Narrow the search topic into keywords or phrases
• Spelling counts!
• Searches are not case sensitive
• Use precise words for your search topic
• Punctuation is usually not necessary
• To locate an exact phrase, place quotes around the words
• Explore as many search results as possible

What is a Phrase Search?
A phrase search is a great search technique for significantly reducing your search results. Place double quotations around the search phrase, which in turn will tell the search engine to only retrieve the phrase indicated.
Example: “John A Macdonald”

What is a Boolean Search?
A Boolean search is a system using standardized words to connect search words or phrases. Using this kind of search will narrow or broaden a web search by using the words AND, OR, NOT (use all caps) as keywords. It is important to recognize that not all search engines support Boolean searches.

Web searching for required words, use the plus sign (+) or AND to require both words be found in the search.

Web searching for excluded words, use the minus sign (-) or AND NOT to request a word not be included in the search.

Web searching for multiple words, use the term OR to request that either one of the words be found in the search.

There are dozens of search engines available for online users to access. It is important to recognize that while Google is the most popular search engine on the web today, it is advantageous to explore different engines and not simply rely on retrieving information from one source. Students need to be well-informed citizens that are able to seek out information from multiple sources, or what we call being information literate. “To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (Wikipedia, 2010).

While Google continues to dominate as the number one search engine, it should not be the only means to which students are researching, retrieving and using information. There are a handful of effective search engines specifically designed for excellent educational results. Recommended search engines for students include:
LearnAlberta
Ask Kids
Quintura for Kids
Thinkfinity

Here are a few of the poplar search engines today used by people searching the web:

Google
The most popular search engine with over 1 billion pages of web content

Dogpile
A meta search engine that searches Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask all at once

All The Web
Searches over 600 million websites

AltaVista
Offers simple and advanced searches of over 500 million websites

HotBot
Has a database of approximately 500 million websites

Excite
Searches over 250 million websites

Bing
Microsoft’s new search engine launched in 2009
A ‘decision engine’ to help users make better information decisions

Ms. Tonhauser
Wikipedia (2010). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_literacy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2P Travels on the Polar Express

In the month of December class 2P studied the Caldecott winning picture book “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. This book’s rich vocabulary and theme of believing without seeing created many learning opportunities for students. Naturally most of the learning outcomes derived from the use of this book were directly tied to the Language Arts curriculum. This year however, we decided that under the guidance of Ms. Tonhauser that we would integrate the “Polar Express” unit into technology. The students and I were given Microsoft Word as our toolbox and Ms. Tonhauser as our conductor guided us to creating these awesome cars and train. The kids were encouraged to be creative and by the looks of these train cars we were not disappointed. Enjoy the slide show thanks to Ms. Tonhauser!

Mr. Presseau

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Flip Video Camcorder

video


The Flip video camcorder is here and is an amazing little technology tool!

Ms. Tonhauser

"A Different Journey" by Positively Dark, free music download by
http://www.entropymusic.com/

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010: Continuing Our Tech Odyssey

2010 is hear and we will continue create, collaborate, investigate, motivate and communicate technology learning @Camilla School. Technology continues to evolve rapidly and new trends in education are always an interesting read. Here are a few of the attention-grabbing articles circulating throughout online media sources and social networks. Some predict technology trends will continue to grow in the areas of:
• Interactive whiteboards
• Mobile devices
• eBooks vs textbooks
• Realtime searches
• Educational social networking

Questions about the Next Decade
David Warlick

2020 Vision?
Will Richardson

K-12 Technology Trends for 2010
The Journal: Transforming Education through Technology

Ten Technologies that will Rock 2010
TechCrunch: Ercik Schonfeld

Ms. Tonhauser