Just about everyone knows how to use Google to search a topic on the internet. You’ll often be presented with 1000’s, if not more, of hits to websites that match your search.
I often do something a little different when I search an educational topic. I use Delicious. Let me explain why.
You may have noticed that I have a list of links on the left hand side of my blog entitled “Some of my online bookmarks at Delicious”. Delicious is an online social bookmarking service. It allows you to save your bookmarks (or favorites) online. You can organize them using tags and categories. Your bookmarks are now available to you on any internet-connected computer. If you use a browser like Firefox, you can add a Delicious app that integrates the adding and searching of bookmarks in your delicious account.
OK. So what does this have to do with topic searching? That comes from the ‘social’ part of this service. Not only can you search your own bookmarks, but the bookmarks of everyone that uses the Delicious service.
OK. So why is that useful? Let me show you with an image, and then explain. I’ve just done a search at Delicious for “inquiry science labs lesson plans”. The results at Delicious look like this:
The numbers in the blue boxes are what makes this kind of search useful for me. They indicate how many people at delicious have bookmarked these sites. By search Delicious instead of a regular search engine, not only do I find websites that match my search, but I find websites that many other people have already found and decided they were worth bookmarking. That means I am finding sites that have been ‘vetted’ by many other people. There’s a good chance that my search for an educational topic finds websites that have been bookmarked by many other teachers.
What better way to find good educational topic websites than to search those already found by other teachers! Try it sometime!