Like most educators we want to build independent thinking amongst our students. Part of that involves students independently researching and trying to answer a given question or completing a project over a certain time period. Google being one of the largest databases in the world means you bump into information you were not looking for. In most cases it’s nice to wonder off in the world of Google and find something new, learning something new. However if you have a 45 minute to an hour lesson you need to ensure your students are on target and focused. This is where you do not want your students to wonder off and get lost in the black hole of the Internet.
In this circumstance a not so well known solution by Google might be what you need. Google Custom Search Engine allows teachers to create a Google search engine with options of editing the sites that students search for. You can create a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) by logging into your gmail account and visiting the Google CSE site here. You first chose a name for your CSE and then simply add the list of sites that should be available during the search. You can either share the link of the CSE with your students via a link or a Google search box can be embedded to your homepage or website. It’s that simple. Here is an example of a Google CSE I used during the ‘Safer Internet Day 2015’ week.
The free option is sufficient for most teacher needs, however if you want more of a Google experience you can pay a starting price of $100 a year for that service. For me the free account (linked to your Gmail) is sufficient.
For more information please visit www.google.com/cse