Sunday, July 4, 2010

Week 2: What a Task?

For three days, I haven't stopped surfing the internet day and night, visiting this new website to check its utility, using the other to identify its disadvantages, reading my colleagues’ recommended links and my dear instructor Deborah’s tips for better web searching. It is not an easy task to do because you should use these search engines many times to identify their strength and weakness points.

I tried one of the noodletools websites recommended by Deborah. It connects us to the collections and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. This web search engine,
http://www.worldcat.org/, provides everyone with all what he or she needs; books, music, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, articles, … etc. Also, It is available in many languages. However, I didn’t recommend my colleagues to use it as we need to subscribe to take advantage of its resources. 

I also visited all my colleagues’ suggested search engines. If you use for example http://www.virtuallrc.com/, you will get unsatisfactory results for your queries. So, it is not beneficial as Arjana mentioned. Google Scholar, http://scholar.google.com.ua/, doesn’t differ from Google as I think it is a part of its world. Also, I visited http://intute.ac.uk/, but I didn’t find it beneficial for me. May be it needs to be tried more later, then I can judge. http://clusty.com/ is a good one as it is called a metasearch tool. This means that it involves more than one search engines. It includes Ask, Bing, and Yahoo. It presents search results in "clusters" by subject. Titles of the clusters are displayed to the left of search results allowing you to easily navigate from one cluster to another, but I think it doesn’t differ from Google and Yahoo.

One of the most beneficial websites that Saulat recommended is
http://www.biography.com/search/. Actually I need it badly especially when I teach my students how to write a biography. I can download some biographies from this website. Moreover, I found another website similar to it. It is http://www.who2.com/. I can use both websites with my students effectively.

Roxana recommended a website for downloading any type of music. I tried it many times, but it didn’t work well. Through checking noodletools, I’ve found two other websites for downloading music and clips. They are
http://www.findsounds.com/types.html & http://www.soundsnap.com/. I can use both websites to download songs for listening or clips to involve them in the PowerPoint presentations I design for my students.

To be honest, at first I didn’t want to change the search engines I accustomed to use. Soon I discovered that I have many keys to open many doors to get the world of the internet, but I restrict to one key. What a shame? So, I decided to try many keys to take advantage of all these opportunities. Actually, using Google doesn’t mean that I don’t use other websites. As a researcher I have many websites to visit daily. They are very valuable and easy to use. Here are some of them:
As a teacher I use other websites when I need articles, activities, exercises, worksheets, quizzes, songs, videos, … etc. Among these websites are: http://www.sitesforteachers.com, http://exchanges.state.gov/englishteaching/forum/archives.html, http://www.agendaweb.org/ , http://iteslj.org/, ... etc.
Of course they are not search engines, but they are specialist websites where I find all the resources I need in my EFL classrooms.

Although I spent more time and effort to accomplish this task, it was of great value. At least I tried web search engines besides my friend Google. One more thing is that I want to send a very
BIG THANK YOU to my dear instructor Deborah and colleagues for their fruitful discussion on the Nicenet board. Their posts, comments and discussions provide me a new mind to think with and a new way to search with.
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