Update: ‘Google Search Education’

Google’s search engine is a powerful and impressive tool for locating information online. Unfortunately for many students, the simplicity of the default search interface can lead to some pretty poor search habits and results. As I wrote in a previous post about Google’s efforts to provide information literacy resources, “it’s often a challenge (in my experience) not only to get students to search using something other than Google; it’s also difficult to teach them how to use Google effectively.”

In that previous post, I pointed readers to something Google was calling their “Search Education Evangelism” site, a resource designed to make it easier for instructors to teach information literacy. This week I received notice that Google has moved that resource to a new location, given it a different name, and updated the content.

The new site is called “Google Search Education.” As is often the case, Google has provided a short video overview of this information hub:

The information hub provides several different lesson plans (with a Creative Commons CC-BY license) for use in the classroom:

  • “Picking the right search terms”
  • “Understanding search results”
  • “Narrowing a search to get the best results”
  • “Searching for evidence for research tasks”
  • “Evaluating credibility of sources”

Each of the lesson plans is available in three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Although it appears that these resources are perhaps aimed at students in primary or secondary school, I’m pretty confident that this material would be helpful in my first-year writing courses.

How do you teach your students basic information literacy skills? Have you used resources like these provided by Google? Do you create your own? Please let us know in the comments.

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