Plv Hal History Day
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Plv Hal History Day

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Smart Searching techniques and finding primary sources for your history day projects.

Smart Searching techniques and finding primary sources for your history day projects.

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  • 1. “ Finding the Needle in a Haystack” Smart Internet Searching Using Primary Sources Papillion-La Vista HAL Students History Day Preparations and Researching
  • 2. Gathering Internet Resources & Information With Students:
      • Finding information on the internet is not unlike using a rake to find a needle in a field full of haystacks.
      • Now, imagine the haystacks getting bigger by the day!  
      • If you could you would use a special magnet that would automatically, quickly and effortlessly attract that needle for you.
  • 3. Gathering Internet Resources & Primary Source Information:
      • The "needles" in this metaphor are the key information pieces you seek for a project or research.
      • “ Smart Searching Techniques” will be the magnet that attracts the information you are seeking "from the enormous haystack of information" .
  • 4. Search Engines Serve a Role— A Limited Role
      • Commonly referred to as "spiders" or "crawlers"
      • Search the web for new pages at all times
      • Are automated and index many sites
      • Often find information not listed in directories
      • Often pull up unrelated information for the topics
      • Web Search Engines Include:
        • Yahoo Search Engine (it also has a directory)
        • Lycos
        • Ask.com
        • Google
        • MSN Search
        • Alta Vista
  • 5. Public Search Engines
      • Use advertising to finance their sites
      • Display search results based on predetermined factors--could be advertising dollars
  • 6. Search Directories
    • index a site based on an independent description
    • organizes sites by subject
    • usually maintained by humans instead of software
    • web search directories include:
        • Yahoo Search Directory
        • Yahoo! Kids (formerly Yahooligans!)
        • About.com
  • 7. Refine Your Search--Use Advanced Features
    • narrow search results
    • located to the right of the search blank at most sites
    • provide a number of options
    • specify an exact phrase to include or exclude
    • examples: Google , Yahoo
  • 8. Search Engine Math
    • Addition: Using the + Symbol
    • For example, to find pages that have references to both Nebraska and Buffalo Bill Cody on the same page. You could search this way:
    • +Nebraska +Buffalo Bill Cody
      • Results: 1,020,000 vs 233,000
    • Subtraction: Using The - Symbol to Subtract Using the - symbol will find pages that have one word but not another.
      • For example, to find information about penguins
      • not including pages relating to the hockey team. You could search this way : penguins -hockey
      • Results: 13,400,000 vs 2,270,000 add “macaroni penguin”+ habitat (683)
    • Multiplication: Quotation marks “ ” work like multiplication--they allow you to combine words into a searchable phrase
      • For example, if you were looking for information on Platte River State Park the easiest way to find information that contains this phrase is to search:
      • “ Platte River State Park”
      • Results: 1,280,000 vs 777
  • 9. Boolean Searching
    • used for searching through traditional databases
    • comfort level in using what is already familiar
    • Boolean commands must be in uppercase
    • OR: used to allow any of the specified search terms to be present on the web page
    • Buffalo Bill Cody OR William Cody OR Buffalo Bill
    • AND: used to require that all search terms be present on the web page--using the + symbol is generally a good alternative.
    • Wild West Show AND Buffalo Bill
    • NOT: used to require that a search term NOT be present on web pages listed in results. It can also be described as an Exclude search.
    • Buffalo Bill Cody NOT Wyoming
  • 10. Domain Specific Searches
    • Searching specific domains is helpful if you want to exclude .com sites
    • Know your domains: .edu, .gov, .org, .com
    • Google & Others: use site:domain in the search box
      • Example for Google: “Nebraska history” + site:edu
    • Alta Vista : use host:domain in the search box
      • Example for Alta Vista: “Nebraska history” + host:edu
  • 11. What’s in a (Domain) Name
    • .com and .net are examples of extensions
    • extensions are an important part of domain name
    • extensions shows who publishes the domain
    • common extensions
      • .edu Educational organization (most US universities)
      • .k12 US school site (not all US schools use this)
      • .ac Academic institution (outside of US)
      • .sch School site (some schools outside of the US use this)
      • .com Company (usually .co in the UK)
      • .org Any organization
      • .gov Government agency
      • .net Network
      • .mil Military institution
    • extensions can also include country codes
      • .uk, .ca, .za
      • For a complete list refer to the Computer User High-Tech Dictionary: http://www.computeruser.com/resources/dictionary/noframes/nf.domains.html
  • 12. Resources
    • History Day Topics at the National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/education/national-history-day-2008.html
    • Library of Congress-Primary Resources: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/
    • Primary Sources at the National archives grouped by eras
    • http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/education/documents.html
    • American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/
    • Georgetown Site: http://crossroads.georgetown.edu/vkp/index.htm An extensive list of links to historical studies, archival resources and general history resources in the field of American history.
    • Edsitement http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites_all.asp The National Endowment for the Humanities maintains this site with links to best history, language arts and social sciences sites. In addition to primary sources, there are online lesson plans and other digital learning materials.
  • 13. Primary Resources
    • National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/
    • Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/index.html
    • Nebraska Studies: http://www.nebraskastudies.org/
    • Primary Source Collection/Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/learn/start/inres/ushist/primary.html
    • Omaha Tribe: http://omahatribe.unl.edu/
  • 14. Good Resources
    • New Mexico State University: Listing of resources to use for History Day Projects: http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/handouts/histday_web.htm
    • SunSITE Digital Collections http: //sunsite . berkeley .edu/Collections/
    • Other Digital Text Collections (Berkeley) http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/siteindex.html Links to digital text collections available on history, literature, philosophy and music