STAR Early College High School @ Erasmus
Internet Seminar: Finding Information Online
In this seminar, we will explore a few techniques and resources for finding
information on the web.
After the discussion, you will participate in an Internet Scavenger Hunt.
Part I: About Searching the Web
- What is the "deep Web?" Why is it "invisible" in some sense?
- subject directories vs. search engines
- differences in how results are categorized (ex. "clocks" in Yahoo! and in Google)
- difference in how the services generate the lists of resources
- which type of resource should you use?
- Wikipedia - is it reliable?
- academic vs. commercial subject directories:
- Search for "computer programming" in both directories.
- Search for "Justin Timberlake" in both directories.
- Google is an interesting example of a search engine.
- page ranking.
- "I'm feeling lucky"
- Google rankings can be manipulated (ex: "miserable failure")
- Advanced search strategies
- democracy AND technology vs. democracy
OR technology (default usually AND)
intitle:shakespeare vs. shakespeare
intitle:shakespeare vs. inurl:shakespeare
search engine: ex.: Ixquick
Search for information about whether violence on television has an effect on children.
Evaluating search results
- What is plagiarism and why is wrong to plagiarize?
- Computers facilitate plagiarism and illegal downloads
- How to give credit properly in order to avoid plagiarism
- Plagiarism can be detected - and the consequences
Part II: An Internet Scavenger Hunt
Form into groups of four. The challenge is to see which group can find the most correct answers by the end of the seminar.
To receive credit for answering the question, you must
- the answer
- an exact URL for the page (or pages) where you found it.
- a description of how you found it online. Document your
steps while you are searching the net. Each time you start a search for
an answer, take notes so you will be able to describe your successful
What search engines, subject trees, or other resources did you use to
find your answer? If you used any search engines, which query brought
to the successful hit? If you found your answer by browsing, what sequence
of hyperlinks did you follow? If you find your answer by piecing
together from more than one Web page, you will need to document your
steps for each Web page listed. I must be
to reproduce a pathway to your cited Web page by following your search
- How would you have found the answer to the question without using the
- An honest response - was it easier to find the answer to the question online, or might it have been easier to find the
answer some other way?
You will not receive credit if you skip steps 2-4!
A few tips on searching:
- Type control-N on the keyboard (hold down the "Ctrl" key and
"N"). This will open up a new browser window. That way you can
this page, with a list of the questions in one window, and do your
in another window. Neat, isn't it?
- There are many different search engines and subject trees.
http://www.internettutorials.net/choose.html has links to many of them.
- Type the words carefully - misspelled words won't match.
- Use more words to limit the search. Check on the Options
of the search engine to see how to combine the words (AND or +, usually)
- Use capital letters only if the word must
- Most search engines treat each word separately. If you want
a specific phrase, most search engines allow you to use quotes to force
the words to be treated as a unit, e.g. "Moby Dick".
At which national park would you expect to find "hoodoos"? What
- Sometimes, blonde hair acquires a greenish tint after swimming in chlorinated water.
Find out everything that you can about this problem: what causes it, how to fix it, and how to prevent it.
- Have any U.S. presidents remained unmarried? If so, which ones?
What is the fuel tank capacity of a 2001 Toyota Camry LE?
On what date did Finland become a member state of the United Nations?
Where can I find the full opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court Judges for specific court
When was the worst snowstorm on record in New England? What made it the worst?
What was the Sacred Truce? Why was it important to the Olympic Games?
- Where can I find a list of graduate schools in Eastern Massachusetts that have good Psychology Ph.D. programs?
How many DVD formats are available? Which is the most versatile?
On May 5th, 2002, an incredible event occurred in the sky involving three
planets. Which planets were involved? What happened?
The gem Corundum is called a sapphire unless it is colored red.
What do they call a red colored corundum?
What are the four national languages of the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Who said, "cogito ergo sum"? What does that mean?
In 1895, what was Oklahoma's population?
Who coined the word "spectrum"? (and why was it given that name?)
William Howard Taft said that the position he held after the Presidency was his
greatest honor. What was that position?
How many tablespoons are there in 2 and a half cups of flour?
Who holds the United States Patent number D501,602? What is it for?
Which city or town uses the ZIP code 32123?
The "Red Room " of the White House wasn't always red. What color did
Dolley Madison use to decorate the room that is now know as the Red Room?
How do you say "three" in Tagalog?
- I want to fly from New York to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At what times are there American Airline flights from NYC to
Toronto on January 5, 2008?
Where else is there a place called Queens, other than in New York City?
What is the name of the town with the smallest population in Kazakhstan?