Friday, May 29, 2009

SET Connections May Newsletter Article

Here is what I submitted for my May Newsletter Article for SetConnections.

is an organization dedicated to helping educators use technology to better meet the needs of students with individual special needs.

My favorite tool for anything online is Google. I am not talking about Google Documents, Calendar, Tasks, Maps, Sites, Blogger, Moderator, Sketch-Up, iGoogle pages, or any of the other applications they offer (FOR FREE!!!). I am referring to the good old Google search. – you know – .com.

What is so great about it? We all know that if you search for something you can get back something that is probably related in a split second. Actually you usually get millions of pages of information that are related. There are a couple of tips out there for making these searches better. Google has several pages put together to help you use this powerful tool better. Here are some you might want to visit and some highlights associated with each:

Basic Search Tips:

  • To see the weather for many U.S. and worldwide cities, type "weather" followed by the city and state, U.S. zip code, or city and country
  • To see current market data for a given company or fund, type the ticker symbol into the search box.
  • To see the time in many cities around the world, type in "time" and the name of the city.

Advanced Search Tips:

  • Phrase search ("") By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling Google to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change.
  • Search within a specific website (site:) Google allows you to specify that your search results must come from a given website.
  • Terms you want to exclude (-) Attaching a minus sign immediately before a word indicates that you do not want pages that contain this word to appear in your results..

Other Cool Google Search Tools:

  • Type in a calculation into the search box. 2+2= will come back with a result of 4.
  • Type in a conversion. “Convert 1 inch to cm” will bring back a result of 1 inch = 2.54 cm.
  • To see the geographical location for any U.S. telephone area code, just type the three-digit area code into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button.

There is also a great handout of tips that you can post for your students to use that is available at

Here is the best tip that hardly anyone knows about Google searches: Type in the answer instead of the question.


You want to know how tall Mt. Everest is.

Don't type in "How tall is Mt. Everest?"

Do Type "Mt. Everest is * tall"

The "*" acts as a wildcard and Google looks for the missing information.

Here are some other great resources on Google to check out:

Happy Googling!