Tuesday, September 10, 2019

2019 #VWEDU: The DTA as search coach: How does that work? Especially for project-based learning

The DTA as search coach: 
How does that work?
Especially for project-based learning
Project-based learning often creates a need for effective search.  Just the place to provide JIT learning on web-search skills.   This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0).
The Empty Classroom
What, no computers?
  • Google search is the main search engine used in the U.S.
  • So the DTA Search Coach is focused on that.  
  • How to use Google search is well known and well documented.
  • The easy way to instruct on using Google search is to give a curated list of links.
  • Imagine a football coach handing out sheets with these links
  • "Read these and you will know how to play football," says the coach.
  • Absurd?  Of course.  Football requires skills.  
  • Using Google search is a skill.  You do not learn a skill by reading about it.
  • Google 101: How to Search And Get Results You Want
  • You learn a skill by practicing it and (perhaps) figuring out how to do it better.
  • It may help to have a coach suggesting ways to improve.
  • There may be hundreds of known ways to improve.   But you can't use hundreds.  
  • You need a few good ways that fit your situation (as a beginner, for example.).
  • DTA Search Coach can do that.    



Search strategy for a project

  • Digicoach will work from this plan, but deliver a little at a time if the user needs it.  
  • Suggested notetaker:  Google Keep

Some things you may use frequently

  • Search on page: Ctrl+f, find  search bar near the top of your page.
  • The code in the address bar of a search return works as a Hypertext link.
  • (Copy that code into a url request window to make the term repeat the search.)
  • Avoid this term:  -this term
  • Search on site:  
  • Site: [url] [search term]


  • Do you know one word or phrase that says what you are looking for?
  • If yes, you will search on that and finish.
  • If you can say what you want in the form of a question, use the question.
  • If no, use several terms that describe what you seek.
  • That includes synonyms.   A thesaurus may help.
  • Save your search term in your notes and give it to Google search 

The first returns for a project search

  • Don't expect the first returns to give all you need unless the goal is simple.
  • And don't look beyond the first page.  
  • For a project, expect to look beyond the first search.
  • On the first page, you may see some questions like the ones you had in mind.
  • If so, check the answers and copy the questions to your notes.
  • You may see a special item: "Scholarly articles about [your search]"
  • You may want to save that item to your notes (with its link).
  • If you need scholarly articles, open that special item and see what is available. 
  • Read the abstract of any scholarly articles that fit your search objective. 
  • Watch for other terms you might use in search
  • Open and read a little of any respected sources:  Wikipedia, Mayo clinic.
  • Check respected sources for other terms you could use in another search.

You may need smart searches

DTA articles


Development considerations

Possible services, education

Possible services, virtual worlds

New century education


Is Google search artificial intelligence?


Visit me on the web

  • Drop by my web offices Weekdays: 12:-12:30 pm Central time (US)
  • I am available for free consulting on any topic in this blog.
  • Cybalounge and 3DWebWorldz (Orientation room)
  • I will be in both places, so you may need to speak to get my attention.
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  • Don't register -- enter as guest.  


  • Original text in this blog is CC By: unless specified public domain.
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