Graphic
|

The Newest and Best Search Engine Tools

by Evelyn Beck

YOU MAY NEVER have met Archie, but perhaps you’ve spent some time with Gopher or Jeeves. Looking back through search engine history is a bit like browsing through a little black book. It was 1990 when Archie, the first search engine, premiered. Then came Gopher and then many more, including Excite, Yahoo, WebCrawler, Lycos, InfoSeek, AltaVista, Looksmart, Hotbot, Ask Jeeves, Northern Light, and MSN Search. Some of these are still around, some were consumed by other companies, and some folded. The current dominant force in search engines, Google, debuted in 1998. More recent entrants into the field include Gigablast, Teoma, Nutch, and Dispie. There are also meta search engines that gather results from multiple search engines; these include Jux2, Dogpile, Clusty, and Mamma.

While Google has achieved the most widespread name recognition, even its regular users may not be aware of some of its latest tools. And other search engines can be better for specific needs. Here’s an overview of some of the latest search engine innovations of particular interest to on-line educators and their students.

Academic search engines

Some search engines focus on scholarly sources. Google Scholar, operating since late 2004 in a beta version (that is, still under development), offers up links to peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, in addition to more widely available web scholarship articles. Two science search engines are Scirus and Citeseer. Also of interest is Librarians’ Index to the Internet, which offers a searchable, browsable collection of over 16,000 high-quality Web sites.

Magazine search engines

FindArticles.com offers free access to full-text articles from many academic, industry and general interest magazines, including Comparative Literature, Essence, Golf Digest, Instructor, The Rural Educator, the Saturday Evening Post, Sierra, and Teaching History, with archives dating back to 1984. Links are also available to magazines that charge for their articles.

MagPortal.com offers free access to full-text articles from several dozen magazines, including American History, Business Week, Christianity Today, Fast Company, The New American, Nursing Management, Smithsonian, and Scientific American. Search by topic, and classify the results by quality of match, date, publication, or category.

Blog search engines

Several search engines specialize in locating blogs, or Weblogs, which are increasingly popular tools in education. Bloglines, which is owned by Ask Jeeves, allows you to search by subject. For each hit, you can see a preview, subscribe, or see related blogs. Other blog search engines include Technorati and Feedster, but these seem to yield fewer substantive results.

Audio and video search engines

FindSounds is a sound search engine that allows you to locate online resources for many sound clips, from musical instruments to animals to vehicles to human and gadget noises. SpeechBot allows you to search audio and video files of such programs as Car Talk and American Forces Radio and Television Service Radio News. AOL Search, which is in the beta version, offers audio and video clips of famous speeches, films, TV shows, music videos and news. Google Video Search, also in beta, offers extended videos from 26 TV stations, including CNN, PBS, Fox News, and several San Francisco affiliates.

Image search engines

Some of the best image search engines are Yahoo Images, Google Images, Ask Jeeves Pictures, AltaVista Images, and Picsearch. Google bills itself as the most comprehensive, with over one billion images, but Yahoo Images received first place in the 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards from SearchEngineWatch because it has greatly expanded its image database and because it keeps its images “fresher.”

Geographic search tools

Google Earth offers satellite images of anywhere on earth from an altitude of 3,000 feet, and you can use overlay commands to see lodging, roads, terrain, dining, geographical borders, as well as information from volcanoes to crime statistics. You can also get maps and directions, as you can from many other search engines.

Special Google features

Google continues to expand its reach. Its book search allows you to search the full text of books. Its personalized search, currently in beta version, alters your search results based on what you’ve searched for in the past. And in its quest to be the Web user’s one-stop shop, Google also allows you to track packages, check a flight status, find a phone number, get definitions of words or phrases, figure currency conversions, find the answer to a mathematical equation, and more—all directly from its search page. And like most search engines, it now has a question and answer feature modeled after Ask Jeeves, which allows users to ask a direct question. This feature is particularly popular with students.

Short URL: http://www.adjunctnation.com/?p=458

Leave a Reply

Keep in Touch With AdjunctNation

Graphic Graphic Graphic

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Archives

Graphic

From the Archive

  • Science: The Journal of the AAAS

    by Chris Cumo SCIENCE, THE JOURNAL of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is arguably the most influential periodical of its kind. Its 160,000 subscribers make it the largest peer-reviewed scientific journal. The AAAS publishes Science weekly, giving it a currency few journals in any discipline can match. Article topics range from recombinant DNA to […]

  • Distance Education: A Global Perspective

    THANKS TO A 72 percent increase in the number of distance education programs between 1995 and 1998, the U.S. Department of Education calculates that 1.6 million students are enrolled in 54,000 on-line classes. But how widespread is distance education outside the U.S.? How global is the World Wide Web when it comes to on-line education? […]

  • Managing Hot Moments in the Classroom

    by Lee Warren Sometimes things seem to explode in the classroom, and what do we do then? Knowing strategies for turning difficult encounters into learning opportunities enables us to address important, but hot, topics – religion, politics, race, class, gender – in our classroom discussions. Hot moments occur when people’s feelings – often conflictual – […]

  • A Review of Campus, Inc.

    by Diane Calabrese Campus, Inc.: Corporate Power in the Ivory Tower Edited by Geoffrey D. White, Ph.D. with Flannery C. Hauck 2001–Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York IN SHORT, THE authors of the 30 chapters in this book have this to say: corporations hold the power at institutions of higher education (and in other sectors of society). […]

  • The Mentor Is In: At All Times, Be Consistent In the Classroom

    By Bruce A. Johnson, Ph.D., MBA What does consistency mean to you or your work as an adjunct instructor? Is this a measurable quality that should be considered or is it in action state that you can occasionally monitor? These questions can be addressed from the perspective of your students and their experience in the […]

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Recently Commented

  • Rick: If your looking for non-academic jobs, or “menial” jobs do not even mention your graduate...
  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...