Where to Search?

        While searching for supplements to your lessons, new web sites, or new ideas one could get lost in the abundance of information that is available on the web.  As we all know not all of the information on the web is valid, and even less is useful.  So how do you avoid getting lost in the abundance of information out there?  Knowing where to look is just as important as knowing what you are looking for.  Click the following links to learn about the different type of search tools are available on the web.  
Directories #hybrids
Crawlers Meta-Crawlers

Directories - This tool is organized and created manually by people.  People ether submit or find sites and then create a description of them.  The sites are organized by this man made description. Directories are sometimes organized in somewhat of an outline form.  This is helpful to searchers that do not know exactly what they are looking for.   

Crawlers- This tool is computer powered.  After entering a topic in the search field it crawls through the internet searching for matches.  This is the best way to find information that is ever changing or often updated.  When a change is made in a website the crawler eventually finds it because it matches different topics. 

Hybrids- As the name suggests hybrids are sites the have both human and crawler abilities.  These sites are not uncommon and may be your favorite site.  Most site favor one over the other but have the ability to do both.

Meta-Crawlers- This sometimes helpful, sometimes confusing tool doesn't crawl for search results.  Meta-Crawlers search through many different search engines at once.  This is a great way to check the validity of one source to another or compare different search results.  You will also notice that each site list things in different orders.  That great information that was on the fifth page of Yahoo results maybe on the first page of Google and if you had only searched Yahoo you may have given up by page two.

Top

What many people know as search engines are often very different.  Sites with directories, crawlers, hybrids, and meta-crawlers are all sometimes labeled "search engines."  
Yahoo HotBot FindArticles AltaVista Google
Surfwax Clusty Excite Dogpile  

 

www.yahoo.com

This site is a one stop shop for many search needs.  Since 1994 Yahoo has grown from a small directory to the information plaza most people are familiar with.  Features that may be helpful in the classroom are not limited to searching the web.  Teachers can access maps, local and national yellow pages, and images that can be incorporated in class presentations.  One concern would be the inappropriate material that could be accessed by this site.  If that will be a problem for you or your students, try Yahooligans. (Yahoo's kid friendly site) 

www.hotbot.com

This site is useful for searching because it always you to access the four major search sites.  Another useful feature is that it warns the user if a site contains pornographic material.

www.findarticles.com

This is part of www.LookSmart.com. This site allows you to look for articles on any topic you enter.  If your students need resources for a paper or project this site may be safer than a search engine.  For one the only thing that can be accessed from this site is articles, thus no inappropriate or offensive images can be viewed.  Secondly the articles are from newspapers, journals, and magazines that are more credible then some websites.

www.altavista.com

AltaVista is another reliable searching device that offers a number of features unique to their site.  Two examples of these features are their translators and people finders.

www.google.com

One could say that Google is the "Michael Jordan" of search tools.  Its the most complete search tool to date.  Its includes a search engine, directory, images, newsgroups, news, a directory, spell checking, stock quotes, street maps and more.  This site that started as a project at Stanford University has received a number of honors and awards for its excellence.   

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