Finding the Trees
A hands-on workshop presented for
in the Digital Forest
EARCOS, November, 2000
by Janet Murray
Newcomers often describe their first encounter with the Internet as
overwhelming; the digital forest is so vast that at first there may seem
to be no trails. Here are some signposts to help you blaze your own learning
Guide to the Internet for Educators
Information on the Internet: A TUTORIAL from UC Berkeley.
on the Internet
Directories organize evaluated web sites by
topic. These sites are good for schoolwork:
BUBL Link is organized by traditional
academic subject, alphabetical index, or Dewey decimal system.
Librarians' Index to the Internet maintained
at UC Berkeley.
search for kids by librarians.
||Try this: Select a topic for which
you could use some supplementary material in your curriculum. Search
in each of the subject directories; which one gave you the best results?
Searching: Different search engines use different
Google: uses text-matching
techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search.
Ask Jeeves allows students to ask
questions using natural language.
links to the go.com subject tree with reviewed sites.
Northern Light organizes
the results of a search into customized folders.
||Try this: Select a compound concept
(at least two words) related to the topic above. Search in each of the
search engines. Which one gave you the most relevant results?
The Big Hub offers classified
specialty search engines by category as well as "megasearching."
CNET Search: allows searching
several sources simultaneously.
Metacrawler is highly configurable,
and verifies and collates the results.
||Try this: Search for the same topic you used above in
each of the multithreaded search engines. Did your search results improve?
If not, consider their limitations.
Alta Vista: offers
a list of related phrases. Select advanced search to enter Boolean queries.
Subjex engages you in a dialogue
to refine and focus your inquiry.
Consult the Nueva School's Library
Help: Choose the best search for your information needs.
Consult the Search
Tips at UC Berkeley Library for guides to boolean searching on individual
OWL, the Online Writing Lab at Purdue, also offers tips for Searching
the World Wide Web.
||Try this: Try a new search in Ask
Jeeves and Subjex. Does phrasing
your inquiry as a complete sentence significantly change the way you search?