Digging deeper into Google’s search functionality leads students to surprising discoveries
“Did he seriously just ask that? How old is this guy?” Well yes, I recently seriously just asked a group of students if they knew how to use Google. And yes, the students got a good laugh from my question.
“Of course I know how to use Google,” I have been told by every student to whom I have asked the question.
“Really? Let’s see. This won’t take long,” I promise.…Read More
Google, which can already feel like an appendage to our brains, is now predicting what people are thinking before they even type, reports the New York Times. On Sept. 8, the company introduced Google Instant, which predicts internet search queries and shows results as soon as someone begins to type, adjusting the results as each successive letter is typed. “We want to make Google the third half of your brain,” said Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder and president of technology. Google’s new psychic powers result in much faster searches, but the change might affect the many businesses that have been built around placing search ads on Google and helping web sites figure out how to climb higher in search results to increase revenue. It is a sign that even as Google expands into other businesses, like display advertising and cell phones, it remains firmly focused on search, its core business and one that accounts for more than 90 percent of its revenue. It has faced competition recently from Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Google has made its new product the default way to search the web. Instant works with the most popular modern browsers and will show up on cell phones and in browser search bars in a few months. “It’s been awhile since there’s been a game changer in search, and this is,” said Jordan Rohan, an internet analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. “It changes how people search.” He added that it was a feat of computing and engineering that could not “easily be mimicked by Google’s competition.”
Here I am at a session about Google Wave (presenters: Tim Stack, Utah Education Network, Jared Covili, and Mitchell Jorgensen). I have always been intrigued by this technology, but have not yet found a practical use for it. This session really helped with understanding how Wave works. To try Wave, visit http://wave.google.com.
The whole concept of Google Wave is live, real-time collaboration. A user starts a wave. It can be a simple post, or a more developed idea. Users that you invite to be a part of the wave can edit your post and can see the editing being done live, right in front of you. This session had more than 100 people, so you could see many edits happening all at the same time. In a classroom situation, it would certainly be more manageable. A cool feature about Wave is the ability to “playback” the edits; starting with the original post, then every edit after that point. This makes it easy to follow the progression of the edits. You can also make Waves public, so that anyone may contribute.
In a school setting, I can see the interface being very overwhelming for some students. The teacher would need to present Wave in a very concise method, as to not confuse the students too much. I like the ability to see live edits in front of you. Add in Google chat or Skype, and you are looking at real, live online collaboration. The session, in general, did not go into anything education-related, but was still very useful. I would have loved to see a Part 2, getting into practical applications for the classroom. To get started, I am going search for some public waves and get used to the interface, how it works, and come up with some great ideas for the classroom.…Read More