Unit 3. Information and the InternetRevision Date: Jul 22, 2015 (Version 1.2)
This lesson investigates how search engines work: the spiders that crawl the web in search of valuable information, the data farms that store the data, and the processes used to organize current and historical data. The search process starts before you ever type a query, by crawling and indexing trillions of documents. Students will create a concept map illustrating their understanding of the operations of a search engine. A concept map is an artifact that could be created as part of the Explore Performance Task at the end of Unit 2.
Students will be able to:
The slides for the guided exploration of search methods were adapted from slides provided by Marie desJardins at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Students will understand the many processes that are required for an effective search engine.
Students will create diagrams and concept maps, do some investigations and discuss how search engines work, and then will individually use a computational tool to create an online diagram illustrating their understanding.
Student computer usage for this lesson is: required
Students should journal on the following question:
"How many searches do you think are done each day using the Google search engine?"
Pair and share, then show this amazing live counter of internet searches: http://www.internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics/
Use the slide presentation "About Search Engines" (in Lesson Resources folder) to direct students through this lesson.
Have students create a concept map of ideas relating to search engines, doing additional research to round out their understanding. (See Teacher Resources for online tools that can be used to create concept maps.)
Share ideas from the students' concept maps. Point out that the concept map (if done online) is an artifact that was created using a computer to present information visually.
Optional Extension: (for fast moving classes who need more to do)
Google tracks everything that everyone queries. (Is this an invasion of your privacy?) The results are fascinating.
Look at www.google.com/trends. You can look at trends by region and limit them to a date and/or place. For example search for “Obama, McCain” limiting your search to 2008, and the United States. What conclusions do you draw?
Pick another topic of interest to explore in Google trends to reveal society’s interests.
Students can create diagrams and concept maps on paper by hand if that is helpful.
Be sure to assign roles to pairs when working together. Don't allow one partner to be passive while the other is active.
Students create a concept map of what they learned with additional research on the topic.
Students will develop a visual diagram of the processes involved in indexing the Internet by a search engine.