Are you a good Googler? Teaching Google literacy

Let’s face it: Google is an academic resource. We all use it – students, researchers, and yes, even us librarians. I unashamedly include “Google literacy” in my library instruction – teaching students how to be better Googlers, how to link to the library from Google Scholar, and how to evaluate the sources they find on Google.

How good a Googler are you?  Did you know that you can use Google to:

  • convert currencies:  20 USD in euros
  • convert measurements: 10.5 cm in inches
  • get real-time stock quotes: stocks goog
  • get census data: population boston
  • do math: 5*9+(sqrt 10)^3= 
  • define a word: define ubiquitous
  • check the weather: weather middlebury vt
  • check flights: american airlines 18
  • check movie times: movies 03833
  • get sports scores: boston celtics
  • and more

Want to improve your Google skills?  Or incorporate Google literacy into your library instruction classes?  Here are some useful resources:

1) Google’s search help

  • learn how to use boolean operators such as “”, -, ~, .., to devise more precise queries.
  • learn to limit searches by reading level, domain, file type, date, and more.

2)  Google’s search education

  • detailed lesson plans for teaching information literacy to high school students – but also appropriate for undergraduates.
  • ready-to-use video tutorials and presentations designed for classroom use.
  • topics include: how to identify keywords, how to understand search results, how to narrow search results, and how to evaluate sources.

3)  Google-a-day

  • keep your Google skills sharp with these fun interactive Google challenges.
  • if you have a Google+ account you can play against your friends.

4)  Google training webinars

  • attend a live class or check out the archived videos.  Easily embeddable YouTube format.

5)  Google literacy LibGuides – here are some good ones:

How to Google like a Librarian – from my colleague Brooke Gilmore

Google tips and tricks – from University of Rhode Island – nice examples using real Google searches.

Google: Basic Search Strategies – from Princeton – includes an excellent concise list of all the different search techniques.

Using Google better – from Mount Ida College.

Google like a pro – from Rhode Island College.

Google Scholar tips and tutorials – from Washington State University – nice overview of Scholar.

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