A Google A Day is a research game hosted by our friends at Google. It gives you a question, for example:
“An 11-foot bird lives less than two miles from 30.891383,
-102.885032. What’s his name?”
You then put your research skills to the test on Google to find the answer. So…
For instance, you can enter 30.891383, -102.885032 right inside the search bar, and learn that it’s directly in the center of Ft. Stockton, TX. A quick Search for [Giant bird ft stockton TX] (or perhaps you’re the adventurous type who’ll “walk” there in Street View) and you’ll have your bird: Paisano Pete.
Cool, right? It gives you multiple questions per day, so there are different content areas. This is an awesome way for students to practice research and evaluation skills online. Over time, it forces students to become better, smarter, and more efficient gatherers and analyzers of information. And it is fun and competitive, to boot!
You can use this is a daily bell ringer activity, a fun way to end class, or a way to reinforce online researching before a project or activity. Many students struggle with online research – why? Because no one ever taught them the most effective ways! It is almost assumed they know online research best practice, which is way off-base. Oftentimes students will Google ENTIRE sentences verbatim (instead of using keywords) and then click on the first result. Model it for your students first to showcase how a good researcher locates and evaluates information online. Then, go back to the sites where you found the answer and discuss why/why not the site is reputable.
This website can go a long way in helping our students becoming better researchers, analyzers, evaluators, readers and writers.