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Teachers expect students to know how to conduct a search and know which information is appropriate for them. But certainly this is not the case, the internet is exposed with lots of information that we have to know how to find it.
Here are some of the searching skills and vocabulary teachers should be teaching students :
1. Quotation marks: Students should always use quotes to search for an exact word or set of words.
2. Dashes or minus sign: Students should use this symbol directly before a word to help exclude unwanted information from their search.
3. Two periods: Using this will help them find information between those two numbers.
4. Search site: Students should use this when they want to search on only one particular site.
5. Using different country codes will help them to look up for every possible news stories.
6. Filter bubbles: These filter bubbles are determined according to the past searching history. What gets filtered out of your search results is not decided by you but by the algorithms of the companies that are providing you with the results. Therefore , it is helpful to teach students how to search in the Chrome browsers incognito mode by going to File –>New Incognito Window. By this way you don’t reveal who you are to search engines and they can’t filter your results.
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Christopher Felix Bezzina
Higher Education in the Digital Age
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