Better Student Searching – Cool Tool #7

Posted on July 26, 2007 in Cool Tools, Ed Tech | 4 comments

This has been sitting as draft for over three months, I don’t know why I never published it…

Google continues to just make life easier. Now you can create a customize a search engine by including only specific resources. Using Google Co-op, you can simply add sites you want to include in a search. Here is a way for many teachers to teach their students to search in a safe environment. It also allows you to embed the search box into your web page, blog, wiki, etc. I hope to build one just for world history. I could then point students to it for research and enrichment.

It might also be a nice addition to the world of the WebQuests – generally the rule is that the links are included. However, if the teacher provides a customized search engine, you get the best of both worlds. Contained searching on a specific topic (let’s say the Holocaust) and the comfort that your students are still only looking at sites the teacher has verified as suitable.



  1. I learned about the custom search engine at the NECC conference in Atlanta a few weeks ago.

    For our last unit of the year, we have a culminating reasearch project about New York City. For the past several years, we’ve given our 8th graders a giant packet with links to helpful websites to expedite the research phase of the project. I really like the idea of using a custom search engine instead.

  2. Hi Dan!

    My name is Marissa and I’m a University of Michigan grad student earning my Masters of Ed. I found your website on a recommended blog list given by our Ed Tech professor. I’m particularly interested in what you have to say because I am going to be a history teacher as well. I’m also on a quest to learn more about technology in the classroom… even though I’m young, I always been quite deficient in the area of technology. You might see comments from me pop up every week or so as I try and keep up with the requirements of my Ed Tech course!

    In response to your latest post, I think Google Co-op is great. I’ve been experimenting with blogs and wikis recently, and Google Co-op seems like another useful, personalized tool for students. Throughout college I have lost touch with searching the web as a resource. Playing around with Google Co-op made me realize that there are a lot of great history sites out there that are perfectly acceptable for secondary level research. I will definitely keeping track of the new history databases I find!

    Thanks for your great site, Dan! One of these I will have time to browse some of your archives.

  3. great idea. thanks for bringing this to our attention. I would always encourage students to find information on the web but check their sources first… this, makes it that much easier.

    google always impresses me.

  4. oh and another option is to visit my website which has only “good” links to lesson plans… – it has a search engine for the site.


  1. Geschichte und Neue Medien » Blog Archiv » Suchmaschine gefällig? - [...] Co-op ist eine recht neues und interessantes Werkzeug, auf das ich im vorzüglichen Blog von Dan McDowell aufmerksam geworden …
  2. “Cool Tools”: Making searches safe for students « Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub - [...] Tools”: Making searches safe for students A History Teacher, even while on hiatus, shows how you can protect your …

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