Tech/Tip Tuesday

Technology Information and Tips

What's the purpose?

This and future newsletters will be used to update you on items that might be relevant to you. They may include an app, article, video, etc. that you can use during your coursework or in the classroom. With classes just starting back for the semester, I know that many of you will be required to do research and write papers on your findings. Today's tips are geared toward more effectively using Google.

10 Important Google Search Strategies for Students and Teachers

Article by Richard Byrne

I'm often asked for recommendations on how to help students use Google more effectively in their research efforts. Whether you teach elementary school, middle school, high school, or college students these tips can be used by your students.

1. Not every question needs to be Googled.

● One of the bad habits that I see many students fall into when it comes to research is

simply entering into Google the first thing that comes to mind. While this strategy can

work, it often leads to a lot of time wasted on searches for information that students

already have. Before embarking on a research project ask students to make a list of the

things they already know about the topic they plan to research. Have them look in their

notes to see if they already have information on the topic.

2. Search within a search result.

● One of the worst offenses students commit while conducting web searches is only

glancing at the webpages they open from the search results page. Or worse yet, only

reading the brief snippet that appears below the links in a search results page. The

reason for this behavior that students often give is “it takes too long to read the whole

page.” To remedy this teach your students to use “Control F” (Windows) or “Command

F” (Mac) when they open a webpage from the search results page. Control F or

Command F allows you to search within any webpage for any letter, word, or phrase.

This also works for searching within PDFs and other documents that students may

download during a web search.

3. Think like someone else.

● When formulating search phrases it can be helpful to think about the words that

someone else might use to describe your topic, question, or problem. Try using those

terms instead of your own. Learn more about this strategy in the short video available


4. Open the advanced search menu.

● The advanced search menu is often overlooked by students. It is found by opening the

gear/ sprocket icon that appears in the upper, right corner of the search results page. In

that menu you will find tools for refining search results by file type, domain, language,

and more.

5. Search by domain.

● Limit search results to specific top level domain or to a specific website. For example, if I wanted my search results to be limited to links from .edu sites, I would enter “.edu” in the domain limitation box.

6. Search by file type.

● Search by file type allows you to find results according to file format. Combine searching by file type . ppt or .pdf with searching by domain .edu or to find

PowerPoints or PDFs produced by students and teachers. (replace the .me in with your state’s two letter abbreviation to find slides and PDFs produced in

your state).

7. Try Google Scholar.

● Google Scholar to find academic, peerreviewed articles on your topic. Often these are

articles that you would not find in typical Google search. Google Scholar is also useful

for finding court rulings and patent filings.

8. Set Google alerts and Google Scholar alerts.

● Go to to create alerts for specific search terms. When

new information related to your topic is available, it will be emailed to you. Google

Scholar also has an alerts function.

9. Search Google Books & Newspapers

● Google Books ( ) indexes millions of books and periodicals that you can search within. Many books and periodicals are available to read online for free. The Google News Newspaper Archive ( ) has

digitized hundreds of old newspapers that you can search through.

10. Remember that Google isn’t the only search engine.

● Most schools and local libraries has access to databases that are not indexed by Google and or are not accessible without the subscription fee that your school or library pays. Ask the librarian for assistance in accessing those databases.