Saturday, 13 October 2012

Power Searching: course reflections

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The course

This week I completed the Power Searching course with Google. After a pre class assessment there were six video classes supported with follow up activities, a mid class and post class assessment. Each class had up to six individual lessons. There were also 3 class hangouts on Google+ The classes were available over a 3 week period so plenty of time was allowed for completion.

The clear explanations and demonstrations of techniques via short succinct video lessons followed by an activity to reinforce learning, worked well for me. I did not make use of the forum but could see many students asking for assistance or additional explanation. Much of the material was not new but Dan's easy presentation style kept me following even the most basic lessons. The class hangouts were very useful as questions were answered with demonstration of possible pathways to search for even the trickiest queries.

What did I learn?

  • After years of teaching Google searches in schools, I can still learn more as Google introduces new features and tools.
  • An effective way to rid results of already known materials; use -site operator. Previously I had only used the site operator in a positive sense but had not thought to use it to exclude results.
  • Date limiters are particularly useful when looking for differences in opinions before and after any particular event.
  • The Search ReSearch blog challenges will help me to hone my newly refreshed skills as I take on Dan Russell's Wednesday search challenges.
  • I will probably undertake any new search courses as Google offers them. To this end I'm now following the online courses page on Google+
  • Retirement provides time to indulge in online learning!
I recommend this course to all. No matter your skill level one can always learn more by looking at search from a different viewpoint, take the time to visit the Search tips and tricks page to see if you can spot something you've not previously used.

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