Boost Search Strategies with Middle School Students

There is LOTS of information on the Internet. When students are conducting searches for specific topics, they can become overloaded with results. Irrelevant sites, limited skimming and scanning skills, advertising, and unreliable data are all factors that can make online searching time-consuming. Competent Internet search strategies can help students to locate high-quality sites quickly to get the facts they need.

Here’s a list of tips to boost Internet searches. In the next blog, we’ll post an activity to use with students to discover different ways of finding information by applying these tips.

Search Strategies to Find Information FAST!

Try many keywords:

Some topics have more than one term used to describe it. Each will provide different results.

Be specific:

To narrow search results use a phrase that states exactly what you want. The more precise, the better.

Pick from the dropdown menu:

As you type into the search box, a list of suggested phrases appears. This can save you time typing. Plus, it offers helpful keywords.

Refer to People also ask:

The People also ask section has popular questions. The answers can quickly provide you with the information you seek.

Check the URL:

Look for sites that are well known organizations, government agencies, or educational pages. The URL of these sites end with .org, .gov, or .edu.

Skim and scan:

Read the title. Check the description for the keyword. It will be bold. Glance over the text looking for words that match the facts you need.

Notice if the site is an Ad:

Websites can pay to be at the top of the search results. The listing will be labeled Ad. Just because it is first does not mean it is the best.

Check the sources:

A website may list their sources of information. Often, they are links to online articles. Verify that they are high-quality. If they are, use them.

Use Find to highlight facts:

If there is a lot of text, use the Find feature. Press CTRL+F on the keyboard. Type a word into the search box. If it is on the page, it will highlight. Jump to each place where the word appears using the Previous and Next buttons.

Use multiple search engines:

Use more than one search engine such as: Bing, Google, or Duck Duck Go. Each provides different results.


TechnoEarth to Boost Search Strategies

TechnoEarth Technology Project

TechnoKids’ newest project, TechnoEarth, inspires students to become environmental stewards. As they research an important issue, they develop and refine search strategies. Then, using Google Sites, they design an interactive, web-based infographic that outlines the cause, harmful effects, and solutions. The publication also summarizes stakeholders, highlights interesting facts, and pinpoints the location of the problem. Students inform the public about the environmental issue, raise awareness, and spark action.

Check out the next blog post to get a fun activity from TechnoEarth. Students search for information and explore these tips to build proficient search skills.