Best Practices for Conducting Effective Internet Searches

While the LRMI awaits formal adoption by Schema.org, we’d like to take this opportunity to suggest some best practices for using the Internet now to find valuable resources for learning. In this digital age, information is more accessible than ever, and major search engines can provide a wealth of knowledge to teachers and students alike. No matter what the topic, the Internet offers access to a seemingly endless array of resources. How can you find the ones best suited to your needs?

We imagine most teachers and students already know search techniques such as keeping search terms simple, putting search terms in quotes to narrow results, and conducting additional searches with more specific search terms to get more targeted results. All of these techniques, however, still can leave you with millions of results. Finding the resources to meet your specific needs can remain challenging. Power Searching with Google provides several advanced techniques for productive Internet searches, including the following:

1.) Start your search by typing “define” before whatever topic you’re searching. For example, “Define Photosynthesis” will produce a definition at the top of your page. The “more info” tab will then provide you with additional definition options, along with their sources.

2.)  Use Google’s Search Features to easily search for synonyms, definitions, calculations, books, maps, and more.

3.)  Once you’ve selected a resource, sift through its contents efficiently by pressing the “Control” and “F” keys at the same time (this applies to Windows, so if you’re using an Apple computer you will want to press the “Command” and “F” keys). Then type your topic into the search window to find all references to your topic. For example, if you type in “Photosynthesis” all references of this term will be highlighted throughout your source.

4.)  Google’s Advanced Search, found on the right settings panel, can help you narrow your search by the most recent content, reading level, file type, usage rights, and more.

The LRMI’s proposed framework takes Google’s Advanced Search process a step further, allowing users to filter search results based on specific education-related criteria such as age range, content area, media or learning resource type, and standards alignments. The LRMI will soon provide the educational community with a tool to pinpoint the exact resource they need in the most efficient manner. Be sure to check back for the announcement regarding LRMI’s adoption by Schema.org.