Monday, February 3, 2014

Day 6 - Specifically searching

                                                            Day 6 of the 20 Day Blog challenge

Tech Tip 2  - Sharing a tech tip, how I use it for teaching and how it simplifies my life.

This challenge is taking a little longer than I expected due to work, life and course commitments, but here is my tech tip #2 for this challenge. It is a very simple one but it always is received with a gasp and light bulbs popping above the heads of students and staff.

It is simply the 'find' function on a web page accessed through 'edit' on the browser menu.

Using a year 7 science research question - "How are mixtures useful to us in our everyday life?" and selecting polythene as the mixture to research, I need to research into the problem or need that has been solved with this mixture, the chemistry behind the mixture, how well it solves the problem, what its limitations are and the environmental and ethical factors involved in its use.

The initial Google search was -polythene history- the most useful page was from the BBC History of the world : The first piece of polythene.  

I want to find the word chemistry in the text, so I go to the edit menu on Chrome, select find,then find in text, or alternatively use command F.

A little box will pop up in the top right hand corner of the screen, place the keyword you wish to find in the box,  (see A below),  the number of results will be shown as a number (B) and the in text results will be highlighted (C), making for easier skimming and scanning of the text by students.

How does this help? 
This form of search allows students to reduce the amount of reading they need to do to find their keywords in the text, it really helps students to refine keywords by figuring out what they really want to see on the page. It also allows them to critically evaluate if the resource is going to be useful for them, if not, they can ignore it and move on to find something more relevant.

This function is available in any browser. Whenever I teach it is always followed by gasps of wonderment and time saving - most loudly from the teachers. It is such a small function, but with huge results and is rarely explicitly taught.

This function simplifies my life by helping students to find what they need quickly and personally use it all the time to reduce time spent on searching.

Have a great day finding what you are looking for!

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