'Let's Google It' has become a household saying amongst many people both young and old, but why? How has this come about and what makes Google the 'go to' search engine? Perhaps it is because Google generates over 3 billion online searches a day or maybe because of a 2012 study showing that 69.5% of user's searches were done using Google, with Bing coming in 2nd with 25% (Key Performance, 2016). Google has become a household name and considered part of our 'pop culture' because of its references in movies and TV shows such as Twilight, Easy A, Blades of Glory, Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Smallville, 30 rock and many more; however, we can now test this theory out for ourselves and see if all these facts, figures and theories are really true and if Google is really all that it is cracked up to be! Will it come out on top?!
'Googling' my question & each step I took
My initial search on Google incorporated and was based around my first question. How do you implement inquiry learning into the classroom?
Table 1. Table of Google Expert Search Strings. Created by Author on Weebly
Samples of my Google Searches
As you can see below I have picked 4 examples of my Google Searches. An example of my first search without Boolean Operators, one example of a search that did not produce suitable results and 2 samples of the most successful search strings which I believe, produced the most useful and relevant results that were suited to my question of implementing inquiry learning into the primary classroom.
Sample 1. Screenshot taken from Google Search. Created by Author
I was pleasantly surprised about the type of results that came back. Even though they weren't specific to any particular age group, country or school environment, it still produced some good results that I most likely will include in my curation. When looking this this search from a critical point of view, the negatives are that it produced too many results so I would need to sift through many websites which ultimately is very time consuming. The reason I included the videos is to show that there are many different Google areas you can look at once you have searched such as search tools (which I will explore with Google Scholar), the time frame, country, images, news and videos.
Next Step: I now want to officially test out my new knowledge of Boolean Operators! Fingers crossed for my first time!
Sample 2. Screenshot taken from Google Search. Created by Author
Interestingly enough, I was more impressed with the results that came from my first search. Even though this search made sure the exact three words were in order and searched for, the results were Chinese based and directed at high school and also gave some irrelevant results. There are far less results than the previous search however I think because I forced the search, by using quotations, to search for the exact three words in order, it narrowed my search too much and gave me results which were very specific to certain areas.
Next: I will use synonyms and take 'high school' results out.
Sample 3. Screenshot taken from Google Search. Created by Author
This search was the first time I used the search tool Verbatim. However, when I turned this search off (as you can see the results in my table above) it produced the same results. This search was very specific to all the search terms I forced it to consider. What I liked about this search was it gave me a variety of results. Whilst many of them are not academic, it provided me with some real-world examples of blogs, journals and also a book to help me. It was interesting to note that Google prefers Inquiry to Enquiry and it was good to see it eliminated all science results by using the 'minus' function.
Next: Try an expert search that is totally different.
Sample 4. Screenshot taken from Google Search. Created by Author
I was very surprised and impressed by this search tool. I came across this search tool when I was reading 'David Russell's awesome Google Search techniques' where it explained that sometimes when you use only quotations, Google may drop some of the search terms and by using the intext: function, it eliminates this risk. It did produce a range of helpful results, including an article 'How to Support Primary Teachers' Implementation of Inquiry' - Springer which I will certainly be adding to my list. It is science based, however it is more geared around helping teachers get around their worries about implementing the inquiry approach to the classroom. This article ia slo cited 9 times which shows it is a trustworthy and helpful article.
Reflection & Further Questions
You have to give credit to Google for providing you with many articles that are relevant to what you are looking for, however I feel with my search there was a lack of scholar type references. Whilst there were a few books and journals about my topic I did not find what I was looking for, which is a more step-by-step guide to implementing inquiry learning. There were many articles based around challenges and implications that are needed to be looked out for and also articles to help support teachers and students in their endeavours. I do feel that perhaps my search string was too complicated and for my next search string in Good Scholar I might look at something different.
There are many different ways to implement inquiry learning into the classroom and I think this is guided a lot by the students in the class. I think IB schools are very lucky as the entire system is already laid out for them and they have specific topics each age group is to cover.
I was proud of my efforts for my first eve Boolean journey and I am keen to get more practise with the next few search engines. After my first search journey and looking at a variety of information, my brain has been thinking about some more questions.
1. When I think of implementing inquiry learning, my thoughts are based around IT as I am an IT teacher. What new and up to date information can I find on Inquiry Learning in IT?
2. I have never heard of these search techniques before, should we be teaching these to students in primary school?
3. I would like to know more about the different types of Inquiry learning - how many are there and what are they called?
Reflection based on Feedback
After listening to the Week 5 Lecture I decided to go back and check my OR operators to make sure they are in brackets. I had 2 that were not so I went back and changed them. From this, I learnt that it is important to check your search strings as for some reason, some OR operators I put in brackets and others I did not! I am not sure if this was due to tiredness or just carelessness but I have made sure I went back and changed it and also gave it a go again in Google. This is why feedback is so important! I definitely don't want to be doing imprecise searches, so I am very thankful for the early feedback.
The Yogi of Inquiry Learning and Re-search