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Test-driving instaGrok

instagrok2

I had a wonderful chat with the co-founders of instaGrok, a new search tool designed to help users learn about a topic by facilitating the finding of context and educational content. Still in Beta, InstaGrok is nurtured by Imagine K12, an incubator program devoted to supporting early stage ed-tech startups through a funding and mentorship [...]

Quixey and other app finding tools

quixey

I am adding another search engine to my search toolkit. Quixey has been around since 2009, but it’s new to me.  The search was designed to solve a problem – millions of apps were being created, but there was no simple way to find them. App discovery was limited to categories, top ten lists, directories [...]

Google’s Evolution of Search, my lament, and will a giant listen?

giantedited

When I watched Google’s recent video on the Evolution of Search, I found myself looking back nostalgically. But not in the way I was supposed to. I realized that my goals for student inquiry and information seeking are different from Google’s goals for user question answering.  That we see our end user’s needs differently.  And [...]

On Why Johnny Can’t Search (with shout-outs to Francey & Buffy!)

This month Clive Thompson addressed Why Johnny Can’t Search in November’s Wired.  He also pointed to the importance of librarians teaching Johnny critical search skills. Thompson reported on research conducted by College of Charleston business professor Bing Pan, designed to assess college students’ search skills. Pan and his team found that the students generally relied on [...]

Truth, Lies, and the Internet

truth

Truth, Lies and the Internet, a just-published report from the British think-tank Demos, shares that, despite their feelings of efficacy, young people are not careful, discerning users of the Internet. Researchers Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller reviewed current literature and conducted an online survey of 509 primary and secondary school teachers in England and Wales [...]

Curation is the new search tool

anime

I hope to introduce a variety of curating tools to classes and individual students this year.  While this is an exciting way for learners to discover how to manage their information worlds, not everyone actually needs or wants to curate every single time they begin research. Students and teachers can exploit the curation efforts already [...]

Delicious Stacks

delicious

The reports of its death were greatly exaggerated. With Stacks–a kind of fusion of bookmarking, microblogging, curating, and sharing–Delicious beefs up and prettifies its popular bookmarking service. What’s a Stack? The site explains that these playlists for the web are collections of links: built around a common theme. To get started, visit the stack tab [...]

Free stuff from JSTOR

chaucer

My kiddos are true JSTOR junkies.  They rely on the scholarly database for their research in many areas, but particularly in history and lit crit. Alas, not every high school can squeeze this subscription into their budgets.  But cheer up, young historians and scholars . . . Earlier this week, JSTOR announced that they are [...]

ERIC gets social (5 new ways to do ed research)

ERIC

While many of us weren’t watching, ERIC, the granddaddy of education research, has grown a lot more social.  As we prepare for a fall filled with professional development, it might be a good idea to share some of ERIC’s new coolness with the faculty. In case you never had the pleasure . . . Sponsored [...]

Google Search Education Evangelism

googlesearchevagelism

It’s been around since February, but I just discovered Google’s Search Education Evangelism site, a space dedicated to improving the skills of searchers from middle school through adult. For teachers librarians, it’s a rich source of instructional content for use with young learners and with colleagues in professional development. Lessons fit into four categories: General [...]