Sunday, 17 August 2008

Google Custom Search

There is more to Google than I know what to do with but one way to help refine your student's searches when they are given an assignment is to create your own mini search engine with Google Custom Search. This allows you to select the sites that you want students (or anyone else that looks at it) to use when looking for information on a particular topic. You can set up the search engine so that it only uses the sites you choose, or gives preference to those sites.

By clicking the "more" link on the Google homepage (or your iGoogle page) and then clicking "even more" you will find yourself with quite a spread of Google products and innovations. It is here that you will find the Custom Search option under the banner of "Explore and innovate". Setting up your own search engine is then quite simple. Fill in the name, description and keywords for your search engine and then select the sites you want that engine to search. The Standard edition also has the option to not show ads on the results pages if you are a non-profit agency, University or government agency. My first offering is here or use the search box below:

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Remembering Hiroshima & Nagasaki

For those of you who have visited Hiroshima or Nagasaki and have looked through either of the museums in those cities, you would most likely have been affected by what you saw. Some believe the bombings were necessary, some believe that they could have been avoided. I believe that this debate is no longer necessary. There is no doubt that the bombings of Hiroshima on August 6th 1945 and Nagasaki on 9th August 1945 caused unbelievable suffering and devastation. What we must do now is not debate whether what happened was right or wrong; we must simple never forget what happened and learn from those events.

Each year in August I try to educate my students as to what happened in those cities and to encourage them to never forget the power of the nuclear weapons that still cast a shadow on our world. This year I have used searchme to try to bring together various websites that can help do that.