Your Guide Is: Rushton Hurley, YSD ("Your Search Dude")

Google's search page allows you to get all kinds of information in all kinds of ways.  Let's start with a few shortcuts hidden away in Google's system. Take a guess as to what each of the following items plopped into Google's main page will yield for you, and then see if you got it right. Did you know you could do this in Google?

 weather Pasadena
 time in Kyoto, Japan
 movies 91101 dollars to yen
 chinese food 91101 GOOG
 define:ort MacBook laptop $200..$400
 WN 500 Los Angeles Clippers

For a normal search, though, sometimes the key is simply to avoid getting three bazillion hits for whatever your humble term might be. Here's a little help on that front:


Time for the Google Scavenger Hunt! Click here to get the file in a format that will be happy on both PC's and Macs. Once home, feel free to print and share with your students.

Getting Serious

What if you're going for something different than news on a TV show or how to get an ink stain out of a dryer? What if your purpose is academic research? Are there special tools to help you move that much closer to your PhD? Of course!


With a partner, find a book in Books you would like students (yours or all of 'em everywhere) to have read before they graduate. Or before getting married. Or before they have children. Or whatever.  Share what you two come up with with the other members of your team. Also take a few minutes to see what resources you can find that would help your students with research projects.

Getting Advanced

Google also makes it possible to filter results in ways that can be very helpful to students and teachers. There are language tools, ways to specify domain and file types, and some creative ways to look at results tied to related searches and timelines. Start with the "Language Tools" and "Advanced Search" links to the right of the search field on the main page. Use what you find to try the following:
  1. Set your Google search page to French.
  2. Do a search that only taps the websites of universities. (Which universities did it check?)
  3. Find Power Point presentations on the Taj Mahal
For those moments when you want to know what terms commonly get searched with the one you're wielding at the moment, give the Wonder Wheel a good look. Find it by doing a search, and then clicking on that "Show options" link you may never have noticed before:


Try both Wonder Wheel and the Timeline options.  When might these be valuable for students?

Going Custom

Overachievers might just decide that the key to search happiness is to tell Google exactly which sites you want your students to use for a given project. Can that be set up easily? But of course! Time to explore the Google Custom Search Engine.

Take a look at this custom search engine I created: Asian News


Would this be a good tool for what you teach? What sites would you include? How would you find related sites to add in the future?


Crib Sheets

Web Search

Multimedia Search support

More Search Tools for Teachers

Google Teacher Academy Presentations from Googler Dan Russel

Search, Part 1

Google Presentation

Search, Part 2

Google Presentation