About this Daily Classroom Special
Bits & Bytes combines technology objectives, activity ideas, web sites, and
resources in an effort to make it easier for everyone to incorporate technology into their instruction. Bits & Bytes is maintained by Barbara Smith, Magnet Coordinator at Harvard
Elementary, Houston (TX) and Teachers Network web mentor.
To the Bits & Bytes Directory
K - 2
Apply keyword searches to acquire information.
3 - 5
Apply appropriate electronic search strategies in the acquisition
of information including keyword and Boolean search strategies.
On the Internet, there are programs called search engines that will
look up web pages for you. Once you type in the key term/terms, the
program runs through its lists to yield those which have something
matching what you typed. Any given search engine cannot search every
website in the whole world - just the ones of which it has record.
There are many different search engines on the World Wide Web, but
some of the most popular are:
In addition, there are also meta-search engines, which will ask (query)
several different search engines at once, thereby greatly increasing
the number of sources searched. Some examples of meta-search engines
Once you get your browser to point to one of these sites, you have
to figure out how to find what you are looking for. Most search engines
do Boolean searches. Modern computing is based on Boolean algebraic
logic developed by George Boole, a British mathematician. Boolean
searches use three "operators": AND, OR, and NOT. Used in conjunction,
you may refine your searches.
For example, if you are looking for information on bees, you might
specify your search by typing:
bee OR honeybee (Let's you look for both terms.)
bees NOT quilt NOT baseball (Let's you preclude sites talking about
bees or the Burlington Bees baseball club) bee AND predator (Let's
you look for sites that mention animals that eat bees.)
- Have a Research Race. Let two teams of students look up information
- one in an encyclopedia, one on the Internet.
- Play a classroom version of game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"
Use questions from topics they have studied. Make one of their lifelines
a brief Internet search.
- Practice defining searches. Give students a question, and have
construct the Boolean search that precludes related terms or topics.
- Have students include at least one web site in their next research
Searching on the Internet [University at Albany Libraries]
Excellent descriptions and examples of Boolean operators.
Biography of George Boole