Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Are You a Google Search Ninja?

I have to say that I love Google! 

Anytime I have a question, I will probably end up Googling to find an answer.  I Google so much that I really thought I was pretty good at it until this summer when our school district offered its first technology conference.  Many of the presenters were our own teachers and technology personnel in our own school system.  I was impressed with their knowledge and left very excited about what I had learned at the conference. 

The last session of the day was called, "Becoming a Google Search Ninja" presented by Derrick Waddell. Thinking I was good at Googling, this session was not my first choice, but the group I was with chose it, and I tagged along.  It ended up being my favorite session, and I wanted to share some of the information about Google.  I'll start with the basics that you probably already know.

  • Quotation markssearch for exact phrases.  For example, "Normandy invasion" will search for websites that include the phrase "Normandy invasion".
  • Asterisk:  searches for a phrase with a word missing.  Just put the asterisk in the word's place.  For example, "a * by any other name".  This will search for websites with the quote, "a rose by any other name".
  • Elipse(...):  searches for a date range (ex:  Japan 1941...1946)
Now, these were some of my favorites:
  • site:edu - Google will only search for edu sites.  For example, if you were searching for sites about reading strategies, but only wanted educational sites, then type in "reading strategies site:edu" and only edu sites with the phrase "reading strategies" would appear.  This also works with site:org.
  • filetype:ppt - Google will only search for powerpoints.  (ex:  nouns filetype:ppt or Civil War filetype:ppt)
  • filetype:doc - Google will only search for a document.  (ex:  nouns filetype:doc)
  • filetype:pdf - Google will only search for a pdf (ex:  nouns filetype:pdf)
  • define:word - gives the definition of a word (ex:  define:gossamer)
  • weather:your zip code - will give your current weather conditions and forcast! (ex:   weather:90210 gives the current weather for Beverly Hills.)
  • movie:your zip code - gives current movies and times
  • - If you are working on a theses or degree, then this Google search engine will search only scholarly literature including theses, books, abstracts, and articles
This might be something that you want to share with your students, or maybe it is some information that you want for your own personal use.  Perhaps you already know these searching techniques.  Either way, you are  a Google Search Ninja! 

Check out Derrick's blog Teach the Cloud for some great technology ideas, advice, and videos.  In fact, click on webinars for a great video of Becoming a Google Search Ninja.



  1. This is an excellent post! Thank you for sharing this info! I'm going to keep it right beside my computer! Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm your newest follower!

    Teaching with Moxie

    1. I'm so glad you found the post helpful and useful! Thank you for following!

  2. I LOVE your blog! Thanks for the info and the freebies! I am a new follower and can't wait to see what's next!

    Inside this Book

    1. I'm thrilled that you enjoy my blog! Thanks for following!