Searchme a winner with students.

(I added the arrows in the above screenshot!)

Today I was teaching our Yr 7 students about researching effectively. We were exploring keywords for search and I showed them Searchme. I wanted them to see how they could use Searchme’s stacks to collect webpages and keep a record of the websites they find useful for their investigative research.

These students had seen Searchme and Viewzi when I introduced them to these new search engines a couple of weeks ago.  As I was moving around the room one of them told me she uses Searchme as her default search engine now. The real magic happened when I demonstrated how you save the pages to a stack that you have created. They were won over in that instant. They spent the rest of the lesson dragging relevant pages to stacks they had created. They all were drawn in by the fact that you have the page loaded and can see your search results as a page view. You can start to make assessment as to whether or not the resource might be relevant. They got the idea really quickly that stacks were a means of collating your research so that you could go back and peruse in depth when you were ready to tackle questions that needed addressing. A couple of them made mention that this would help in making sure that the bibliographic data you needed was accessible -they did note that they should be collecting this along the way and should not leave the construction of a bibliography until the last minute! All of them thought it was very cool that you could save videos and images to your stacks as well as standard webpages.

I was using Google last night to collate links for a wiki page I was putting together for our study of ‘Little Women’. I wanted my students to get some grasp of the period and was searching for Amercian Civil War links. Google wasn’t returning what I was looking for so I turned to Mahalo. Surprisingly the page for American Civil War has not been fully fleshed out -I was surprised anyway. I went to Searchme thinking the returns would be so so but was pleasantly surprised. I found myself loving the full page view and being able to flick through results so easily. Within minutes I’d found what I was looking for at appropriate levels of understanding for my students and my wiki links were completed.   

Have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the results from Searchme. I keep expecting mediocre results but am finding relevant pages appearing. The speed at which I can assess a resource is a real winner for me and I’m guessing it’s going to be for my students as well. I’ll be very interested to watch their adoption of these new alternatives to traditional search.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Searchme a winner with students.

  1. Thanks for this review Jenny. I am definitely going to give it a try with my students next term!
    Patricia

  2. Wow Jenny, I didn’t know about this tool, it is fabulous! What uses we will have for it with our classes. Thankyou for this post-it was very enlightening!

  3. Rhondda

    I have just begun introducing SearchMe and Viewzi to staff and students but they all really like these two search engines. They like being able to use the visual aspects, the videos views have been especially well received. We have found that the searches have turned up good (relevant and useful) material.
    The stacks option has also been really popular with teachers and students. They (teachers) see a number of possible uses for them, after I pointed them out, but still thought they were great ideas. Will let you know if there are any really brilliant uses but they have both been winners and will be getting increasing useage

  4. Thanks Jenny, you have reminded me to return to Search me and have another go at it. I really need to explore it a bit better as the last time I tried it seemed to give me lots of irrelevant stuff. But that was probably more my fault rather than the fault of the search engine. I haven’t heard of Mahalo so that is the next learning journey.
    cheers Anne

  5. Hi Jenny,
    Thanks for sharing this great search engine. I am going to try and advertise this with our students. It is very impressive and easy to use.

  6. jennylu

    I’m so glad all of you have left comments letting me know that you think Searchme is worth exploring with our students. I’ve been showing some senior students Searchme today and they have been so impressed. One comment was ‘Why would you go back to Google’. She loved the visual interface and being able to see the page straight up. I’ll be interested to observe their search patterns when they’re not being prompted to use it; will they defer to what they know and the ‘brand’ that Google is?
    Jenny.

  7. Anne Van Meter

    Thanks Jenny! My school was thinking of subscribing to NoodleTools this year, but wonder if Searchme and Viewzi will work instead? In addition?

  8. jennylu

    @Anne -I had not heard of NoodleTools before. I’ve had a quick look at their website but haven’t done a thorough enough investigation to make comment. My feeling about subscribing to a service is that it’s fine if you can get widespread adoption, but it’s not such good use of money if it doesn’t get used (despite your best efforts at plugging the service). These are questions we are asking in our library re subscriptions to databases.

  9. Jane Lowe

    Jenny, I have just read your post and looked at Searchme. I hadn’t seen it before and I love the idea of the stacks. I’ll get my head around it first before I introduce it to my Year 4’s. Will have a closer look at Viewzi later.
    Thanks again
    Jane

  10. Kim Yeomans

    Hi Jenny, I have really enjoyed exploring this Searchme and will show it to our Grade 5 and 6 students and teachers shortly. I like the stacks and the way you can see the whole website page at a glance….feels like you are turning the pages of a book! A great way to look at effective web page layouts too…

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