Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Make a Custom Google Search Engine

When I was in the classroom, turning students loose on the Internet was always a tricky thing. Without good direction, solid searching skills and constant monitoring, it is extremely easy for students to become distracted by the WWW.  I'm not talking about kids getting onto inappropriate websites because, our district has an Internet filter for that. I'm referring to all the media, games, videos, music etc. that manages to quickly and easily draw students off task. You know what I mean, it happens to adults too. Sometimes I get on Pinterest and look up only to find I've just wasted two hours of my life that I can never get back!

What if you could harness the power of the Internet while keeping students focused and visiting quality websites? YOU CAN! It's called a Custom Google Search Engine.  The tool allows teachers to curate a specific list of quality websites. Once created, a custom URL is generated and can be added to a teacher's website or shared with students. Students will still be able to conduct a Google search but instead of searching millions of sites, they search a much smaller pool of sites you have specified. No more mistyped URL addresses, QR codes or documents full of hyperlinks.

The best part? The set-up is quick and easy! Check out this post by Kimberly Kellogg on the Simplek12 website. Included in the blog post is an instructional video that will show you how to create your own Custom Google Search Engine in less than THREE minutes! Then rest easy knowing your student's research comes from well qualified and vetted resources.

Use this tool for a project, research paper or implement it as an on going list of resources that you add to all year. If you decide to implement this tool, consider sharing your story on social media using the hashtag #BirdvilleLearns.

Happy Searching!

Video Tutorial: http://linkis.com/www.simplek12.com/go/jzvM9
Google Custom Search Engine: https://www.google.com/cse/

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