My Google Power Searching Course

I have just completed a six lesson online course run by Google on “Power Searching”. What did I learn?

I learned that I had not been using the full potential of Google, that I was a one-stop shop Googler who would look up a subject and then get a page of results and delve into one of the first five results to get the information I was seeking.

I did not use “Google Images”, I did not refine my searches or exclude the information that I did not want to see by the simple use of a minus sign! I have now realised the power of visual searching, of the use of Google Maps and Streetview to explore information.

I realised that I am a lazy searcher. I am not alone in this. To so many the idea of an internet search is to “Google” the term that you are looking for. You might explore some of the videos but what about the other features that come with this increasingly complex website that has added its name into our daily vocabulary.

There are, of course, other search engines that will give you a different set of results. I have discussed two of these in past posts (“Sweetsearch” and “Instagrok“). I have also discussed the idea that students need to be trained in search skills so as to be able to navigate the increasingly complex and growing sea of knowledge (which this blog post is adding to… Google the title in a few days time and it will be there… somewhere!!).

I feel that Google is to be congratulated for being aware that we are in need of training to become more efficient searchers on the net. They have also added to the increasing use of online courses as a means of getting and communicating knowledge. I was particularly impressed by the use of “forums” to discuss aspects of the course. The increasing availability of online course material from some of the world’s leading universities is a growing resource of the web that may help to transform further and higher education forever.

The use of video material was good and linked to YouTube uploads. I would very much like schools and colleges to look at giving time to allow students to really explore the web through powerful search tools and to be able to communicate their findings so that knowledge is not hidden in a private space but can become a public resource.

Thank you Google for a really useful and enlightening experience. I even had a Certificate of Completion at the end!


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