Thursday, October 27, 2005

There's been a request for me to share my presentation materials for the "101 Ways to Google" program. I'd love to I have is a brief handout that lists some of the Google related sites I cover. (It's below.) I also have what I call a "lesson plan" which is quite lengthy. I've been doing presentations and classes for about 8 years but I still have those moments when I can't remember what I was going to do next. So the lesson plan lists each Google service and says things like, "Click on Blog Search. Type mountain biking in the search box. Look at # 3 on the list "Mountain Biking with Paul Andrews." It also contains things I want to talk about, but I don't read it. I make sure I know the subject well enough that I can speak without reading.

The program lasts an hour and a half. We cover a lot and I think that's the maximum time we can tolerate before our heads explode. Without going into a lot of detail, I first do one simple and one advanced Google search, so they'll see how to do a phrase search. (We also offer an Internet Searching course for more in-depth instruction.) Next, I work across the links above the search box: Images, Groups, News, Froogle, Local. I do one search in each. Then I click on More and we go through the list of services on that page. Some of these services overlap. For example, when I do a Local search for coffee shops, it also brings up the Maps feature so I don't need to do a separate Map search. I usually save Google Labs, Mobile, and SMS for the end. It's easier to explain these after I've shown the other types of searches. The only Google Tools I cover are Google Earth (people actually say "Wow!" when they see it) and the Toolbar. Under the Special Searches I only do an Uncle Sam search.

The fun starts when we get to the "web search features", which are done right from the main Google page. If you scroll down the features page, you can see examples of the types of things I do. I type in addresses so they can see the PhoneBook (I also show how to get yourself removed), we look for local movie times, we use the calculator (300 miles in kilometers), we track a UPS package number, look for stock quotes and more.

I worry that this program is a big promo for Google. But I see patrons in the library using Google all the time and I think it's a way for us to show its other capabilities. I mention that no search engine covers the whole Internet and if they're not finding what they looking for, to try another. I also explain that Google can't find everything on the Internet. For example, you can only get the full text of Consumer Reports by using our EBSCO database. Finally, I try to explain the latest in the Google Print controversy without taking sides.

As a backup, I have a PowerPoint of screen shots if the Internet is slow. I have this on my laptop, a flash drive and my Gmail account. If all of those fail, it just wasn't meant to be.

I hope this gives you an idea of what happens in the program. If anyone would like more info, please ask. Here's the list of sites from the handout.

Google Cheat Sheet
Or click on “About Google”, then on “Help and How to Search”

Google’s Services
At Google’s home page, click “more” to see the list of services and tools.

Google’s Web Search Features
Explanations of special search features
At Google’s home page, click “About Google’, then “Google Web Search Features”.

Google Uncle Sam
Searches only government web sites.

Google Labs
Technologies still in development

Google Toolbar
Search with Google from any site. Runs on Windows computers with Internet Explorer. Firefox users can download the Googlebar from this site.


At 9:55 AM, Blogger bentley said...

Thanks! This helps. I noticed some new Google books are coming in to our library soon, so I'll see what else I can borrow from them as well.


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