Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just the Facts #edtech

How many time have you conducted a search using one of the more popular engines only to find no facts about your search on the page? This is partially because search engines use meta data (that you can't normally see) as part of it's algorithms. While meta data is beyond the scope of this post, it does add some kinks into your typical search.  Enter FactBites a mix of search engine and an encyclopedia.  This is a search engine that you can use to actually conduct general research.  It's not great if you want to find out about Lady Gaga's latest album.  But, if your looking for the causes of World War II or information about a specific mineral this may be a viable seach engine for you and your students.  What I like is that it actually gives a bullet point synopsis of the pages it returns which include your keywords.  If the only data it finds is from a "questionable" source it will actually tell you "these results are not from the primary (high quality) database."  While I'm not sure how they determine a high quality database, FactBites should certainly be a search engine option you should consider.
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