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Last year one of the best ads released during the SuperBowl was this simple ad by Google

Shortly after the release of this video Google asked you to make your own search stories.

Simply go to http://www.youtube.com/searchstories and start creating your story.

What a great way to teach students search skills.

Give students and start and end point. For example in 3rd Grade I might give students: Rocks and Volcanos. Start with Rocks and create a search story that gets you to end your search story with how Rocks and Volcanos are related.

Or in High School how about finding a connection between two random books: The Odyssey and 1984.

I’m sure you can come up with your own examples. Take two unrelated topics and see if students can use their search skills to bring them together. Or could a student tell the story of a character through search. Take just the character Homer in The Odyessey and tell his story in 7 lines using search.

Or you can do what I did and tell the story of you.

So many possibilites!

I’ve found myself lately looking for posts on ideas or concepts that I know exist and not being able to find them. As I’ve been looking through the blogosphere I’ve been interested in how few people put a search on their blog so that others can search their content. So I thought I’d write a post on how to create a Google Custom Search for your blog.

There are a couple things I think every blogger should do when they get started to help others find their content.

1. Sign-up at Technorati.com for an account and go through the process of registering your blog with them. Technorati is a blog search engine that tracks blogs and tags on blogs throughout the Internet. It’s a great place to go to search for blog posts and a community every blogger should belong to.

2. It you have a Blogger Blog I don’t think you have to worry to much about Google indexing your site…as Blogger is owned by Google. However, if you have a self-hosted WordPress Blog or a blog at WordPress.com or Edublogs.org, I suggest you use the Google XML Sitemaps Plugin. It creates a Sitemap of your blog that Google and other search engines can use to easily index and keep your site up to date on search engine results.

http://www.yourshortestpath.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/custom_search_google_homepage.jpg3. Every blogging platform that I know of comes with a search widget….but I have found the Google Custom Search Engine to be more reliable in returning results on my own sites. I use it constantly to find posts, pictures, and comments left by others on my blog.

Creating a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) is pretty easy.

  • Go to http://www.google.com/cse
  • Sign in with your Google Account
  • Walk through the process to create your custom search engine.
  • When you are through Google with give you a snipet of HTML coding
  • In a WordPress blog you can paste this coding into a text widget on your sidebar
  • In a Blogger Blog you can paste this snipet of coding in a html gadget
  • Typepad users? Not sure….maybe someone can leave a comment and tell me what the process is?

Once you have the search engine code embeded on your site Google will index your site and create the search results. Adding this code also helps Google index your site and search results for the main Google search and Google Blog search.

I hope this helps…or reminds some bloggers out there add a search to their blog.

This is a must watch video for every educator. In grades 4 and above educators should then turn around and use these when teaching any lesson where students are researching information.

These…right here….are the new literacy skills that today’s generation need!

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