Using a Google Custom Search Engine (Google CSE) can make student research less tedious while still teaching students valuable searching skills.
With a Google CSE, the teacher creates a customized search engine that contains only sites for a specific topic. For example, if students are researching Texas animals and their habitats, the teacher could set up the CSE with sites specific to that topic. This allows the teacher to input sites that are on an appropriate reading level as well as ones that contain relevant information. Once the CSE is created, it can be added to your own website, blog or wiki.
To create a Google CSE:
1. Create a Google account or use one you currently have.
2. Go to http://www.google.com/cse/ to get started.
For a quick tutorial, watch Richard Byrne's (Free Technology for Teachers) video below, or click here if reading this post via email.
This would be a good tool to use when teaching students about searching and determining the validity of webpages. The teacher could add sites to the CSE that are outdated, have incorrect information, are more opinion-based rather than fact-based, etc... Students would then have to determine which sites are the most relevant and appropriate for their search topic.
How do you think a Google CSE can be used in your classroom?