AbstractThe purpose of this presentation is to critically examine the aspects of a search engine. What a search engine is will be defined, and examples, in written description, of five popular search engines---Aol, Ask, Bing, Google, and Yahoo will be highlighted. Online presentation tools will be used to determine why the effectiveness of online searching is important, and what strategies can be applied to produce positive effects. The definition and association of primary and fluid sources, with regard to online searching, will be included in this presentation. The concluding focal point for this presentation will be the answer or answers to why is verification of online sources is important while interacting with information via search engines? Access to this presentation will be available as a result of online publishing.
The term is self-explanatory. Online means gaining public access through the use of a computer network. Introducing, showing, giving, or offering something physically, visually and/or through graphics, images, video, etc. is the manner in which something is presented. The implementation or methods used, as a result of the varied online applications, are the tools or operations for the presentation to be effective. When the discovery of online presentations first surfaced, the most popular presentation tool was PowerPoint. It was the only presentation tool most users were familiar with. Fortunately, as technology continued to be improved upon and upgraded, many other presentation tools are readily available. The best thing about them is that that are free to online users. According to Hall (2003) there are nineteen free online presentation tools, that she suggests to “Wow Your Audience”Presentation ToolDescription “Slideshare It has gained attention as one of the best business presentation sites. To use it, you import a source file from PowerPoint, Word, PDF, or other formats (and you can also import video with paid pro version). You can embed or share it widely. Google Presentations You can import an existing PowerPoint presentation for editing, or start from scratch with Google’s own templates. And there are 450+ fonts you can use too. You can embed images and YouTube videos, but unfortunately not sound, which may limit its utility for some users. Once the presentation is done, you can publish to the web, embed or share. The killer feature: multiple people can work on a presentation at one time. Prezi This is one of the most exciting presentation tools in this roundup. Although you can import PowerPoint, the best way to experience it is to create a Prezi from scratch. You start with a canvas, some transformation tools and some whizzy templates with exciting transitions. Group ideas in frames and add symbols, shapes and diagrams. SlideRocket This is one of the early contenders in improving online presentations, one of the killer features is the ability to embed interactive content, such as from your Twitter feed. You can also add effects to almost any element of your presentation. Interesting transitions include flipping, rotating and reflecting images and the animations are stunning. The presentation can be shown up to fifty people at one time. Zoho Show Zoho is easy to use for anyone familiar with PowerPoint. It includes master slides, templates, customization, the ability to insert video and images, transitions and animations. Interesting features include online image editing, shape effects and easy flowchart building. Zoho allows for simultaneous presentation editing by more than one person, broadcasting over the web and the usual sharing and embedding features. Zoho Show also has automatic version tracking. AuthorSTREAM This presentation tool has both a web and desktop app and allows you to upload PowerPoint slides so you can do more with them. The tool includes public, private and social media sharing and the ability to password-protect presentations so that only those people you choose can see them. It includes broadcast, analytics, the creation of multiple customized channels, multiple video formats and uploads to YouTube, and others. Empressr It has standard presentation features and allows the use of video and audio. Collaboration and sharing are included, as are analytics. It’s hard to determine if this tool is supported because the blog hasn’t been updated since 2010, but this tool is still considered a popular choice for those looking to improve their PowerPoint presentations. HelloSlide HelloSlide creates automatic audio for your presentation from your typed text and can translate it with the click of a button, giving your content greater reach. Jux This is an image based storytelling tool that looks great on a tablet or large screen. It could be useful for companies with great visuals. myBrainShark myBrainShark enables the addition of URLs, polls, surveys and more to an existing PowerPoint presentation as well as some editing of slides, transitions and effects. Knovio Allows users to upload static PowerPoint presentations and add video and audio online. It’s the baby brother of an enterprise tool, KV studio. myPlick myPlick has a three-step process for uploading slides and audio, syncing and publishing/sharing. It doesn’t have any other additional customization options. PresentMe This tool lets users import a presentation file and deliver and record the presentation using their webcam. The tool then combines them so that you can share to social media or view on a mobile device. It provides analytics too. PreZentit This is a browser-based tool which allows easy presentation creation, collaboration and sharing. Each presentation exists as HTML, allowing for manual editing if you need it. The current tool is unsupported as a new version is supposed to be on the way, but it is still online and usable. SlideBoom This tool is available in two versions. The ad-supported free version includes audio, video, animations and the ability to make graphical annotations on your slides. Analytics, private group sharing and additional security are Pro features. TimeGlider This is not a presentation tool, but a timeline creator with a free version so it could be the right web tool for time-based presentations. It works best for short timelines; those with a lot of content can end up looking crowded. Vcasmo Vcasmo allows you to upload slides and audio or video narration and combine them in a single presentation. It does not have collaboration features. You can stream video from its content delivery network. Exporting your video, embed protection and customized branding are paid features. Vuvox This tool allows you to create dynamic media-rich interactive presentations by collating images, audio and video via its Collage tool. Zentation Zentation syncs slides and video to provide a presentation video you can upload to YouTube.” (pp. 1-5)
The In’s and Out’s of Search Engines Search engines, many online users will agree, are one of the widely used and appreciated, online conveniences, of this technological era. Having more than one option for obtaining information is received and welcomed. Before search engines, the library and the many resources found at one was, basically, the means used for gathering information. After locating information on a topic and then getting clearance to take the material out of the library, an individual was literally weighed down carrying, most of the time large, three or four books. What are search engines, and why have they become a major part of the online user’s life, not just students? Search Engines are machines that convert or change energy mechanically. In this case, the machine referred to is the computer. “Search Engines are programs that enable you to search the Internet using categories, keywords, or questions. A search engine keeps records about millions of web pages and other Internet resources such as newsgroup postings. Some use “robots” which are programs that spend their time finding web pages and noting which words are on which pages. Other search engines (called subject directories) are created by people who look at new sites and index them according to different categories” (“Search Engines”, n. d., p. 1). In order to begin a search something known as a “web browser” is needed. The most popular web browsers are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.
“AOL’s main web search results are powered by Google. AOL’s home search page is bare and uncluttered, with the search bar parked squarely in the middle of the page. Users have a few options available to them right from the beginning, with text linked tabs on top of the search bar (web, pictures, video, audio, news, local, and shopping). There’s a little green button that saves a user’s searches for up to thirty days” (Boswell, n.d., p. 1). There are approximately 45,000,000 monthly visitors to this site” (“Top 15 Most Popular…”, 2014, p.1). ASK is a question/answering site that releases the best answers from web resources and real people, all in one place. “The Ask/AJ/Ask Jeeves search engine is a longtime name in the World Wide Web. The super-clean interface rivals the other major search engines, and the search options are as good as Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo. The results groupings are what really make Ask.com stand out. The presentation is arguably cleaner and easier to read than Google or Yahoo! Or Bing, and the results groups seem to be more relevant” (Gil, 2014, p. 1). “It is estimated that there are 145,000,000 visitors to this search engine, monthly” (“Top 15 Most Popular…”, 2014, p. 1). The third search engine, Bing, is “Microsoft’s attempt at unseating Google. Bing used to be MSN search until it was updated in summer of 2009. Touted or recognized as a ‘decision engine’ Bing tries to support one’s researching by offering suggestions in the leftmost column, while also giving one various search options across the top of the screen. Things like ‘wiki’ suggestions, ‘visual search’ and ‘related searches’ might be very useful to an online user. Bing is not dethroning or replacing Google in the near future, no. Bing is definitely worth exploring” (Gil, 2014, p. 1). “The number of monthly visitors to this site is quite impressive, 285,000,000” (“Top 15 Most Popular…”, 2014, p. 1). This search engine has, to many online users, become a household name. “It has monthly visitation the exceeds the 1,100,000,000 mark” (“Top 15 Most Popular…”, 2014, p. 1). “Google is the undisputed king of ‘spartan or strict, vigorous searching’. It doesn’t offer all the shopping features of Yahoo, but Google is fast, relevant, and the largest single catalogue of Web pages available today. Google’s ‘images’, ‘maps’ and ‘news’ features are outstanding services for locating photos, geographic directions, and news headlines” (Gil, 2014, p. 2). Lastly, but by no means least, this search engine, Yahoo, “is several things: it is a search engine, a news aggregator, a shopping center, an mailbox, a travel directory, a horoscope and games center, and more. The ‘web portal’ breadth of choice makes this a very helpful site for Internet beginners. Searching the Web should also be about discovery and exploration, and Yahoo! Delivers that in wholesale quantities” (Gil, 2014, p. 1). “250,000,000 visitors frequent this search engine on a monthly basis” (“Top 15 Most Popular…”, 2014, p. 1).
The number one reason for effective searching is to be able to address the topic or area of concern in a positive manner. The development and/or the enhancement of prior knowledge and newly acquired knowledge are dependent on information being accurate. There is so much information, distributed throughout the Internet, in varied sites, as a result of this, research must not be limited to one or two ‘favorite’ sites. Many times information on one site may not be completely credible, or the information might need to be extended to gain complete comprehension. “Searching the Internet, effectively, is a very important skill to acquire. At some point, in most of our lives, we will search the Internet to search for resources for school, work, home, or out of curiosity. Besides the right keyword of course, one needs to tell the search engine specifically what he or she needs if they are not just searching for a generic/broad topic. And being specific does not just mean typing the whole question. Most people have this misconception that the keywords refer to the topic/issue that they are looking for. This is only partially correct. Besides the topic/issue that one is looking for, if the online user is searching for something specific about it, then he or she should include what that is. For example, you are researching for a science topic on “What are the factors that contribute to Ovarian Cancer?” Using Google, if you type in the whole question exactly as it is, you will get many diverse results, filled with scientific reports that you won’t be able to understand. If you type just “Ovarian Cancer”, most likely you will get results that give you the medical side of ovarian cancer, like symptoms, treatments, etc. But if you type “Factors that cause ovarian cancer”, the results that you want can already be found on the first page” (Toh, n. d., p. 1). Effective searching online helps to develop students’ information skills. Johnston (2010) concludes: “Information literacy is an integral generic skill or graduate attribute in higher education. Johnston bases her comments on the results of a study that was done in 2009, at James Cook University with first year social work students. The students completed an information literacy module as one of their assessment requirements. Learning information literacy skills, especially using online searching techniques, was considered an important ability for these students to acquire. Some of the students had limited experience searching in an online environment and the projected outcome was that these students would especially benefit from completing an information literacy module as a required piece of assessment, rather than as part of a workshop. The aim of the information literacy module was to give all of the first year social work students research and information literacy skills.” (pp. 1-2) Effective searching is important because it prepares the students for real world interaction. “Students need full access to the Internet’s resources in order to learn the skills they need to successfully participate in today’s, and especially tomorrow’s, society. Success in education, employment and civic involvement increasingly demand the ability to use technology to access, process and communicate online information. Parents and citizens should insist that students at all grade levels have successful experiences with major technologies, including the Internet” (Johnson, 1995, p. 2). Johnson (1995) suggests skills that are necessary and important for effective searching or Internet use. They include: Knowing the difference between information and knowledge or insight;Sorting and evaluating information and information sources;Understanding the problem;Identifying what information is needed for a problem;Knowing the need to be recursive when problem solving; Creating or cultivating information;Framing essential questions;Identifying subsidiary questions;Planning a search’Modifying the search when new information suggests it;Using chance findings;Using online help tools; Analyzing data;Building and testing models;Synthesizing information to create fresh answers and insights.” (p. 5) Effective searching is important because comparison of information, familiarity with the different search engines, language used, with regard to searching topics, etc. is explored and discovered. Boswell (n. d.) agrees searching is effective when:“1. More than one search engine is utilized 2. One knows his or her search engine inside and out 3. Know the basics of common Web search terms 4. Go off the beaten path---one can find a ton of information with his or her friendly neighborhood search engine, but there is a lot of material out there that they don’t cover. That’s‘ where the invisible Web comes in. The invisible Web refers to the vast repository of information that search engines and directories don’t have direct access to, like databases. 5. Frame your query differently. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again-but try again just a little bit differently. For instance, if one is not getting anything good for “pogo stick championships”, try “winners pogo”, or “pogo stick first place”, etc. 6. Spelling and grammar---Most search engines, if the user misspells a word, will politely ask “Did you mean…” and correct your spelling for you. This is a feature that, definitely, should be taken advantage of. An individual can also get some pretty interesting results by deliberately misspelling the term one in searching for. 7. Metasearch---one search engine is great, but a dozen search engines, at one time, is even better. 8. Global search---Web searching should not be limited to your home country, go international. 9. Find some help. There are plenty of places on the Web where one can find expert help in a variety of subjects. 10. Use what other people have already done. The ability to harvest other people’s Web searches all over the Web with the power of social bookmarking and social networking is a benefit for online users.” (pp. 1-6) The importance of effective searching, with regard to presentations, is summed up, quite nicely, by Kotelnikov (n. d.) he says effective searching is important to “keep your audience’s attention, providing for every type of learner---visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Provide for everyone things to see, hear, and do. If learners are stimulated, as a result of effective searching, whether in the classroom or meeting room, the intended audience will enjoy the presentation more, learn more, and retain it longer.” (p. 7)
Where did it originate or come from is what describes the ‘source’. The “primary” source is the first or early stage of something higher. “Primary sources are first-hand accounts of an event, a life, a moment in time. They are in their original form (diaries, letters, photos, etc.) usually without explanation or interpretation. A historian, Mary Lynn Rampolla, defines primary sources as “materials produced by people or groups directly involved in the event or topic under consideration.” Primary sources can include not just written documents like letters or diaries but also the material remains (e.g., tools, furniture, art, architecture, music) of a specific time and place. Primary sources are the essential building blocks for the historian’s reconstruction of a moment in time. The Library of Congress American Memory Collection: http://memory.loc.gov/learn/educators/handouts/ outlines five reasons why primary sources should be used: To develop critical thinking skills: Primary sources are snippets of history. They require students to be analytical, to examine sources thoughtfully, and to determine what else they need to know to make inferences or conclusions from the materials.To understand that all history is local: Local history require students to “tell their own stories” about familiar people, events, and places. Memories from an adult’s perspective provide a rich glimpse of history that is not available in a textbook.To acquire empathy for the human condition: Primary sources help students relate personally to events of the past, gaining a deeper understanding of history as a series of human events.To consider different points of view in analysis: In analyzing primary sources, students move from concrete observations and facts to inferences about the materials. “Point of view” is one of the most important inferences that can be drawn.To understand the continuum of history: Students come to understand that we all participate in making history every day, leaving behind primary source documentation that scholars years hence may examine as a record of “the past.” The immediacy of first-person accounts is compelling to most students” (“Using Primary Resources: Teaching Guides…”, n. d., p. 1).
There is so much information on the Web. To determine creditability would be the number one reason to verify sources. There are no laws that say information, on the Web, has to be approved before it is printed and/or made public. There are scam artists, unfortunately, in every walk of life. Many sites allow editing. Anyone can say whatever he or she wants to in an attempt to deceive others, usually financially. The importance of verifying sources should be associated with what Harris (2010) labels “CARS”, credibility, accuracy, reasonableness, and support, the checklist for information quality. “Credibility: Author’s credentials, the author or source of the information should show evidence of being knowledgeable, reliable, and truthful.Accuracy: The goal of the accuracy test is to assure that the information is actually correct: up to date, factual, detailed, exact, and comprehensive.Reasonableness: The test of reasonableness involves examining the information for fairness, objectivity, moderateness, and consistency.Support: The area of support is concerned with the source and corroboration of the information. Much information, especially statistics and claims of fact, comes from other sources. Citing sources strengthens the credibility of the information, this should be a consideration when writing a researchpaper.” (pp. 4-12)
Fast Light User InterfaceDesigner sources are graphical or descriptive editors and GUI, graphical user interface builders that produce, what is called, FLTK, Fast, Light, Toolkit. “The GUI is a program, on a computer, that interacts with the graphics capabilities, and allows data to be moved from one application to another---copy, cut, etc. For example, Microsoft Windows programs has components such as the pointer,--- the little symbol on the screen that users move to select commands and objects pointing pointing device,--- the mouse icons,---pictures of commands, files, or windows desktop, ---this is where the icons are found windows, ---the user can divide the screen into different areas. In each window, the user can run a different program or display a different file. The user can move windows around the display screen, and change their shape and size at will and menus---users decide what commands to execute from here” (“GUI: Graphical User Interface, n. d., pp. 1-2). The FLTK is “a cross-platform graphical user interface, (GUI) library. It was designed to accommodate 3D graphics programming. It has an application or a component of an interface, that allows the user to perform a function or access a service---widget” (“Fast, Light, Toolkit, n. d., p. 1).
Bell (2012) maintains: “It empowers users to choose how the Web page is going to look on the basis of browser window and other display settings. Google, Wikipedia etc. are the examples of fluid design. Benefits of using fluid layout: The main benefit of using it is it can utilize all the available space. It gives power in user’s hand, he or she can choose how the website will look. On the flipside of the coin: If the screen size is large the website will look very weird. It will become very difficult to use background images with fluid design.” (p. 1) “Designers may not use fluid page designs for various reasons, but the layout’s benefits are often overlooked. The pros: Fluid web page design can be more user-friendly or easily understood and operated because it adjusts to the user’s set up. The amount of extra white space is similar between all browsers and screen resolutions, which can be more visually appealing. If designed well, a fluid layout can eliminate horizontal scroll bars in smaller screen resolutions or appearance. The cons: The designer has less control over what the user sees and may overlook problems because the layout looks fine on their specific screen resolution. Images, video and other types of content with set widths may need to be set at multiple widths to accommodate different screen resolutions. With incredibly large screen resolutions, a lack of content may create excess white space that can diminish or lessen aesthetic or beauty appeal. The less a fluid Web design depends on graphics and difficult techniques, the easier it will be to create and maintain. It will also be more compatible with alternate screen resolutions. With cleaner code and design, compatibility problems are more easily prevented, found and dealt with” (Knight, 2009, pp. 4-5).
In order to keep track of ones’ fluid sources today’s technology comprehension has to be strong and up-to-date. Technology is rapidly changing, some might say, on a daily basis. Every aspect of a person’s life, it seems, is connected to or dependent upon some type of technology. With this being said, Nichelson (n. d.) concludes if one is current on his or her technology comprehension, there are four simple strategies or techniques that will be effective with the efforts put forth to keep track of fluid sources on the Web. They are as follows: “Step 1. Determine your needs. You’ll determine your needs from the type of technology you live and work with, your existing knowledge base, and your learning style. Step 2. Access the resources available to you. From books to magazines to the Internet to formal training sessions, you can find technology-related information in a variety of sources. Step 3. Rank the resources in order of usefulness to you. The good news is that there are a lot of resources. This is also bad news. Choose those resources that have even a small chance of working for you, and then rank them in terms of the subject matter or topic (some will be more important than others), your learning style, and your lifestyle. Step 4. Make the time to use the resources.” (pp. 2-3)
ReferencesBell, B. (2012). What is Fixed and Fluid Website Design and Which One to Choose? Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Is-Fixed-and-Fluid-Website-Design-a...Boswell, W. (n. d.). AOL Search. How to Search with AOL Search. Retrieved from http://websearch.about.com/od/enginesanddirectories/a/aol_search.htmBoswell, W. (n. d.). Web Search Made Simple. How to Search the Web Faster, Easier, and More Efficiently. Retrieved from .about.com/od/searchingtheweb/tp/web_search_ simple.htmFast, Light, Toolkit (FLTK). (n. d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLTKFastLightToolkitGil, P. (2014). The 10 Best Search Engines of 2014. Search Tools for the Everyperson. Retrieved from http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/navigatingthenet/tp/top_10_searc...GUI- graphical user interface. (n. d.). Retrieved from www.webopedia.com/TERM/G/Graphical_User_Interface_GUI.htmHall, S. (2013). The Daily Egg. 19 Presentation Tools to Wow Your Audience. Retrieved from blog.crazyegg.com/2013/05/28/online-presentation-tools/Harris, R. (2013). VirtualSalt. Evaluating Internet Research Sources. Retrieved from http://www.virtualsalt.com/evalu8it.htmJohnson, D. (1995). Student Access to Internet: Librarians and Teachers Working Together to Teach Higher Level Survival Skills. Emergency Librarian, 22(3) 8-12 Retrieved from http://eds,a,ebscohost.com.proxy.cecybrary.com/ehost/delivery?sid=df... AIU Online Virtual Campus. ERICJohnston, N. (2010). Is an Online Learning Module an Effective Way to Develop Information Literacy Skills? Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 41(3) 207-208 Retrieved from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxy.cecybrary.com/ehost/delivery?sid=df... AIU Online Virtual Campus. ERICKnight, K. (2009). Fixed vs. Fluid vs. Elastic Layout: What’s the Right One for You? Retrieved from www.hyperarts.com/blog/what-is-responsive-adaptive-and...Kotelnikov, V. (n. d.). Effective Presentation. What Makes an Audience Listen. Retrieved from http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/presentations_main.htmlNichelson, B. (n. d.). Keeping Up With Technology: Four Steps and Some Resources. Retrieved from http://entrepreneurs.about.com/cs/beyondstartup/a/keepinguptech.htmSearch Engines. (n. d.). Retrieved from http://www.shodor.org/ssep/pae/internet/search.htmlToh, H. (n. d.). How to Search the Internet Effectively. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Search-the-Internet-Effectively&id=...Top 15 Most Popular Search Engines. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/search-enginesUsing Primary Resources: Teaching Guides from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. (n. d.). Retrieved from www.tennessee.gov/tsla/.../PrimarySourceLessons/.pdf
Unit 3 ip edu638
THE IN’S AND OUT’S OF SEARCH
SHIRLEY R. BAILEY