Literacies- Advanced Web Searching Skills or

One of my Recent Presentation (although geared to Social Studies, actually has a lot of links you all wanted)

21st Century Literacies

  1. Data &  Information-
  1. current-
  2. being revised-
  1. Media
  1. current-
  2. being revised-
  1. Visual
  1. current-
  2. being revised-
  1. Mathematical & Analytic
  1. under construction-
  1. Scientific
  1. under construction-
  1. Geo & Spatial
  1. current--
  2. being revised-
  1. Historical
  1. under construction-

Supplemental Resources-

  1. Five Techniques to Immediately Improve your or your students Searching Skills
  2. Efficient and Effective use of Web Browsers
  1. Available Web Browsers
  2. Navigation
  3. Features
  4. “Add-Ons”, Extensions, etc.
  1. Knowledge of Web Sites and Searching Sites & Tools
  1.  Basics of web site function
  1. Creation
  2. Location & Linking
  3. Navigation/Menus
  4. Cookies and other Tracking Tools
  1. >101 Searching & Research Sites & Tools
  2. Basic functions of searching sites
  1. Navigation
  2. Search Tools
  3. Ranking within search results
  4. Advertisement
  5. Web tracking as method to “adjust search results” and advertising
  6. Use of Advanced Features of Search Sites
  1. Operators & Syntax for Advanced Web Searching
  1. Top Ten Tips for Improving Searching
  2. Concept of Recursive Web Searching
  3. Concepts of “Climbing Up & Down the Tree”
  4. Evaluation of Sites and Information Found
  1. Criteria for Evaluation
  2. Quick- from search results list
  3. In Depth- from actual sites visited
  1. Safety
  1. Phishing
  2. Redirection
  3. Vulnerabilities- plug-ins, executables, embedded code, etc.
  4. Hidden Messages
  5. Misinformation
  6. Web Hoaxes

Five Techniques to immediately improve your or your students Searching Skills

  1. Never Search with a Single Word. (you probably will not find what you want and you may be shocked by what you find!)
  2. Find the Best Words for the Search. (One great place to find best word is a quick Wikipedia Search)
  3. Remember the first few searches are to find the best words to search with. (that’s why its called REsearch)
  4. Learn how to quickly review the search results page for best possibilities
  5. To find a specific word within a page you have found use command Ctrl-F

Efficient and Effective use of Web Browsers

  1. How Websites Work
  1. A Web site needs four things:
  1. A registered domain or subdomain address (URL)
  2. A connection to the Internet and recognition by at least one DNS
  3. Web Server with Web Server Software (Apache, ISS, etc.)
  4. Content
  1. Web sites can be accessed by:
  1. User entering the domain name into their browser’s address bar
  2. User finds a link to a site through a Search Engine
  3. User clicks on an HTML Link (see later section for more information on how links work)
  1. On a web page
  2. In an e-mail
  3. Within an electronic document (PDF, Presentation, etc.)
  1. Web Server/Software
  1. Computers use a network, wired or wireless, to contact the web site’s server.
  2. The host web server responds by sending an HTML page to the inquiring computer.
  3. The inquiring computer uses its browser to “read” the HTML coded file and display a “web page”
  4. The process is then repeated for each new page
  1. Understand what a browser is and how it works
  1. HTML
  2. Cache
  3. Cookies
  4. Plugins
  5. Java and other scripting tools

  1. Selecting and Maintaining an Internet Browser
  1. Explore variety of available browsers
  1. Mozilla FireFox
  2. Google Chrome
  3. Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)
  4. Apple Safari
  1. Keep your browser up-to-date. Out of date browsers are:
  1. Susceptible to malicious software (viruses, spyware, trojans, etc.)
  2. Cannot display newer pages properly / May not work interactive (Web 2.0) sites
  3. Are slower and may freeze often
  4. Are unable to read latest version of HTML (5)
  1. In addition to keeping your browser up-to-date, it is imperative to also keep all browser plug-ins up-to-date (Acrobat Reader, Shockwave, Flash, Java, etc.)
  1. Learn about different sections of browser screen:
  1. Menu & Settings
  2. Address Bar
  3. Search Bar
  4. Tabs
  5. Status Bar
  6. Bookmarks/Favorites
  7. Add-on toolbars
  1. Tips for navigating
  1. Use Tabs features of most modern browsers
  1. Allows you to have multiple web pages open simultaneously
  2. Allows you easy switch between open pages
  3. If you want to open a link on a page and do not want to close that page, instead open the link in a “new tab” by right clicking the link.
  4. You can have multiple tabs open as your homepage when browser is started
  1. Basic Controls
  2. Right Click for context sensitive menus
  1. Right clicking elements on web page will bring up a  context sensitive menu
  2. The menu you see when you right click can vary considerably depending on..
  3. Specific Browser being used
  4. Version of the browser
  5. Any Add-Ons/Extensions that have been installed
  6. The web page you are
  7. What you click on on the web page.
  1. Keyboard shortcuts- In addition to many of the usual keyboard shortcuts (such as copy Ctrl-C and paste Ctrl-V) there are special shortcuts specifically for use in your browser (see table below)

  1. Gleaning-Gathering/Repurposing/Different formatting of web page information
  1. Why the usual Copy/Paste routine often does not work as expected for web page content
  1. Content displayed on a web page is can be very different than what most users are used to with other programs, such as word processing documents
  2. It may be an image of words, not actual words
  3. It usually contains HTML coding and HTML formatting information to properly arrange words and numbers on a page
  4. It may be an embedded component, such as PDF, image, spreadsheet, video, flash, shockwave, etc.
  5. It may be being generated “on-the-fly” by Java or other scripting
  1. Even if the Copy part works normally the resulting Pasting is not what you expected or wanted
  2.  Learn how to Glean, Bookmark & Find pages again.
  1. Understand how to use Bookmarks or Favorites- Many "Social Bookmarking" online sites will allow you to have your bookmarks follow you to other computers or share bookmarks with friends or students.
  2. Learn how to copy specific items, save text or data, etc.- You may want to install Browser Add-ons/Extensions to allow right click sensitive copying menus.
  3. Understand how to paste the information you have copied into your own documents.- Copying and pasting tables into spreadsheets is a very good tool to understand, as it will allow you to analyze, sort, filter or do calculations on the  information.
  4. Understand how to use browser history to find pages you have already visited
  1. Keeping track of sites you have visited (the good, the bad and the ugly)
  1. Good- so you can return
  1. Bookmarks/Favorites within the program
  2. “Social” Bookmarking- online bookmarks that follow you
  3. Browsing History
  1. Know how to see browsing history
  2. Learn how to delete old history
  1. OK- so sites know your desired preferences
  1. Your default location
  2. Saved usernames and passwords (that you wanted saved
  1. Not so good- so sites can track you
  1. Provide lots of targeted advertisements
  2. Divert you to other sites
  3. Gather information about you without you wanting them to
  1. Browsing habits
  2. Buying habits
  3. Social Networking habits
  4. Location
  5. Usernames and/or passwords

  1. Avoiding Internet Dangers
  1. If it looks too be good to be true it probably is
  2. Page Redirects
  3. Know where you are going
  1. Reading links before you click
  2. Never type web addresses into your search bar instead of address bar
  3. When it says you will be leaving a site, don’t answer yes unless you know where you are going
  1. Turn-on Phishing warnings on your browser
  2. Use a firewall
  1. Telltale signs of Internet fraud
  1. Phishing emails that look like they are official & warn of a problem with your account, bill, etc...
  1. Then take you to fake sites where they can steal personal and financial information
  2. Request for password or other personal information
  1. Warning signs of Phishing & Fraud emails
  1. Unsolicited offers
  2. If it looks too be good to be true it probably is
  3. Generic Salutations
  4. Misspelling or grammar errors
  5. Sound-like words
  6. Invalid or no Security Certificates
  7. Offshore or inaccurately described server locations

Searching & Search Engines  

  1. Use the best Search Engine for the Job-
  1. Use more than one search engine- Every search engine is different, and will give you different results. If you can't find what you're looking for quickly with the first search engine that you try, there's plenty more out there including specialized searches. For a very wide assortment of different Search Engines visit
  2. Use Meta Searching- One search engine is great, but a dozen search engines - at one time - is even better.
  3. Don't even know where to start? Use Topic Indexes or Subject Directories to help you get started or with younger students- More like an Encyclopedia, Table of Contents or Book Index. Some peoples personal searching preferences better match method of starting with Indexes and then drilling down to more specific subjects.
  1. Know how to use the Features of your chosen search site
  1. Visit the Help Page of the search engine for tips and tricks- Know your favorite search engines inside and out. It's easy to skim the surface of your favorite search engines and only use the most prominent features; however, most search engines have a wide variety of advanced search options, tools, and services that are only available to those dedicated searchers that take the time to search them out. All of these options are for your benefit - and can help make your searches more productive.
  2. Learn how to set or change your preferences- Search preferences can be set globally on many search engines (safesearch, limit number of results, chose default language, etc.)
  3. Auto Complete can speed things up.- There are multiple types of Auto Complete- some within search engines and some in your browser, history, recent searches, etc.
  4. Turn off personalized searching and/or use a search site such as DevilFinder which does not collect cookies.- For example- Google automatically pushes certain content at you that it assumes you will be interested in. This is based on: 1. Where you are (geographically) and 2. What you have searched for previously. For more information visit-
  5. Three tools that are intended for people maintaining websites can also be useful to searchers in identifying trends, alternative search terms, and research into key players and competitors in a sector.- Google Trends for Websites - looks at search trends for individual websites or you can compare several websites. In addition it shows what people  ’Also visited’ and ‘Also searched for’. Google Insights for Search - advanced options for identifying search trends including countries and categories.
  6. Use the country versions of Google for information that is country specific- This will ensure that the country’s local content will be given priority, although it might be in the local language. Useful for companies and people who are based in or especially active in a particular country, or to research holiday destinations. Use Google followed by the standard ISO two letter country code, for example for Google Germany or for Google Norway.
  7. Keep up on changes in the Web & Search Engine World. Learn how search engines work & about the search engine industry.- Just as the Web itself, Search Engines come and go and change features.
  1. Use the Best Words in your search & know which words to avoid.
  1. Use unique, specific terms. Use specific words rather than generic categories.- Whenever possible use "unique keys"/"golden words"
  2. Never search for single words!- You probably will not find what you want and will very often be shocked by what you find!
  3. Use scientific or trade names for items not common name or nicknames- Use your first couple of searches to find best words (one great place to find these words is Wikipedia).
  4. Carefully phrase your query- The more specific your query is, the more success you're likely to have. After all, "why is the sky blue" is easier to understand than "sky blue question". For more information on how to craft a more specific query, read article titled "Looking for a Specific Phrase" at
  5. Don’t use common words and punctuation- Common terms like “a” and “the” are called stop words and are usually ignored. Punctuation is also typically ignored. But there are exceptions. Common words and punctuation marks should be used when searching for a specific phrase inside quotes. There are cases when common words like “the” are significant. For instance, “Raven” and “The Raven” return entirely different results.
  6. Realize that some words are not searched for- Known as "Stop Words" certain words are automatically excluded by search engines. These include words such as “the”, “is”, “at”, “which” and “on”. (This is similar to the rules you learned for sorting book titles). Use +, " " or operators such as Verbatim will force inclusion of these words.
  7. Drop the suffixes- It’s usually best to enter the base word so that you don’t exclude relevant pages. For example, bird and not birds, walk and not walked. One exception is if you are looking for sites that focus on the act of walking, enter the whole term walking.
  8. Use synonyms or alternative search terms. - Be creative or use a thesaurus for ideas. Type thesaurus in the search box to find an online thesaurus
  1. Ctrl-F to find a word within the found page- Depending on the specific browser you use the Ctrl-F box will open in a different area of the page
  2. Quickly & Effectively Review/Skim pages found.
  1. Just because an item is listed first does not mean it is the best resource. - In fact, on many sites the first 5 to 10 entries are there because their owners paid the search engine company to put them there!
  2. Learn how to quickly skim a search engine’s description of a page, in the search results- Pay particular attention to the site address for clues. You can also install browser add-ons or extensions to get thumbnail views of the first page of each site found.
  3. Evaluate more promising result pages found - Use the Who, What, Why & When Criteria and Hierarchy of Source criteria. The "smell test" and other evaluation rubrics/schemes.
  1. Learn & Use the Query Syntax of Search Engines
  1. Although many search engines have added features to automatically help you get the right combination of words you may be searching for knowing and using Operators and other Syntax in your search give you the best results- The easiest way to use many special search features without know the proper syntax is to use a site's "Advanced Search Page"
  2. Learn simple operators:
  3. The minus sign, - will exclude words, " " will give exact phrases, + will force inclusion of "Stop Words" (see above) in your search and the ~ will include synonyms. AND will give you results that include both words but OR will give you results with either word. You can also use | in place of OR .
  4. Most complex operators can really help you refine a search, but they may be harder to remember unless you use them often. A "cheat sheet" of operators is a quick way to start incorporating them into your searching-
  1. Use the Invisible Web
  1. Understand that many resources are not found by traditional search engines- Invisible Web Directory: Many individuals and institutions have put together invisible Web directories, which you can use as a jumping off point to surf the Invisible Web. There are also specialized search tools for blogs, news, data, etc.
  1. Learn about URLs & Directory Structure
  1. Pay special attention to the addresses of sites- especially the part following the "dot" which gives some indication of the type of site (.com, .gov, .edu, .net, etc.)
  2. “Learn how to Climb Up & Down the Tree”
  1. Practice RWS (Recursive Web Searching™) Techniques to get more from sites (