Monday, June 6, 2011

Google Search Part 1: Operators!

After a recent Google Workshop for Educators (GWE), I was aghast at how much time I've wasted through inefficient searching. It could have added minutes to my life! All sarcasm aside, you really can save some serious time, and heartache, by making your searches more efficient. We spent the greater part of the morning experimenting efficient searching with a Google certified teacher (@k_shelton).

Here are some of the goodies we had fun trying (try them out for yourself in a new tab right now):

Weather - Type in "Weather Brooks, Alberta"
     - up-to-date weather forecast for any location in the world

Movies - Type in "Movies Calgary, Alberta"
     - current movie showtimes at various theatres

Time - Type in "Time Beijing, China"
     - current time for any location in the world (who needs math?)

Chinese (or any other) Food - Type in "Chinese Food St. John's, Newfoundland"
     - listing of restaurants, ratings and a Google map with locations

Currency Conversion - Type in "100 Canadian Dollars to American Dollars" 
     - current monetary conversion

Flights - Type in "AC 243"
     - track the status of your flight

Calculator - Type in "6 to the power of 2 times 5"
     - an online calculator (try some advanced equations)

Definitions - Type in "define: bailiwick"
     - online instant dictionary (saves paper) with links to your favourite dictionary sites underneath

Here is a current list of all Google Operators (that's what they're called), although there will be new ones constantly added over time. Many of these operators will save you time and a headache, especially if you are on the road or in a hurry.

In terms of educational value, you really want to learn about Advanced Search (to be covered in Part 2) and Image Search (part 3). Stay tuned...

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