Help Your Students To Sharpen Up Search Techniques

Swiggle - safer searching at home and school

School boy on laptopSimply typing “River” into Google Search isn’t necessarily going to return learning resources to help you with your Geography home learning project.

There are a number of ways that can help students to improve the accuracy of returns in web searches:

  1. If you're looking for child-friendly resources and information, try adding “+kids+facts” to the search term, this will help return results that are geared more towards young users
  2. A child-friendly safe search engine such as Swiggle, a website aimed at Key Stage 2 learners, that also includes links to a wealth of learning and online safety resources.
  3. Watch out for spelling errors, these can lead you to material that you weren’t looking for
  4. Choose effective keywords, think about the most important words you want the search result to return
  5. Use the minus sign (-) to eliminate irrelevant results. There must be a space before the minus sign but not between the minus sign and the word you want to eliminate for example: horse -fence
  6. Use quotes to search for a phrase. Quotes glue words together; there can be additional words before or after the phrase, but the phrase will always stay together in the search results for example: Book “I must survive. I have promises to keep.”
  7. Use Google Advanced Search, particularly helpful when searching for a specific image. You can filter results by different categories including line size, colour, type, usage rights etc.
  8. Check that your students know how to store and organise their favourites – this will save them time when they want to return to helpful sites at a later date.

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