Google is not just useful for conducting searches for information on the Internet. In fact, it can be used and manipulated with cool and tricks in ways which help you and your students search for information about science and math with more effectiveness. Along with all subject areas students are engaged in school.
The following are tips and tricks designed to help you and your science or math students take advantage of Google’s search engine.
Searching for Information
Exact Phrase – often students’ search efforts on the Internet a wasted by using phrases which results in the need to sort through useless information to find what they are searching. This can be eliminated by using “…” to narrow the search to an exact phrase.
Calculator – the next time you or your students need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, using a calculator, or pencil and paper. Just type your expression in to Google:
Example: 48512 * 1.02
Similar Words and Synonyms – let’s say you are want to include a word in your search; however, you want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms. To do this, use the “~” in front of the word.
Example: polynomial ~math
Word Definitions – if you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.
Example: define: newtons
Math Calculations – your students can use the search box as scientific calculator for metric conversions, unit conversions, and money conversions.
Example: sqrt(10) which represents square root of 10
Another Example : 5*9+(sqrt 10)^3= results in the answer 76.6227766
Measurement – your students can search for equivalent measurements.
Example: kg in pound which represents 1 pound = 0.45359237 kilograms
Another Example: how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon
Local Weather – you can use the search box to find the current weather in any city, anywhere in the world.
Example: weather Hong Kong
Wonder Wheel: A Search Thesaurus
Wonder Wheel is located in the left side panel on the Google search page. This wheel (of wonder) shows related search terms to the current searched query. It enables you or your students to explore relevant search terms which might be the ones you originally wanted to search for, or simply give you more options to gain more information.
Time Line is located in the left side panel on the Google search page, below Wonder Wheel. This Google application provides a timeline of all relevant events (date, person, event, etc.) related to a specific timeline.
Another Example: recycling
A Third Example: global warming
Most websites have a .com domain name. Sometimes it’s better to restrict student searches to other domains, such as .edu or .net. This ensures students to not stray to undesired areas of the Internet, also helping them to focus on specific resources.
Example: site:edu biomes
Another Example: site:gov algebra
A Third Example: site:net algebra help
This search tool offers students the ability to complete “better than” searches for comparing something against other known information, products, or services.
Example: better than recycling
Another Example: better than equilaterals
These Google search engine tools not only make a teacher’s job easier, they are useful for students in completing homework, projects, or other science and math activities.
These tips and tricks should be taught to students, because it is something they can use both during school and after their school years.
Another Google Resource