Good "search" skills are misundersestimated, to borrow some coinage from our inestimable erstwhile president, George. W. Bush. Indeed, knowing which search engine to use for what purpose and then how to use advanced queries to find useful information can make the difference between an efficient research exercise and a frustrating, potentially unfruitful trial.
Good search is a matter of entering the right question - or key words - into the search field. Finding the proper key words and the proper syntax for joining those words require complex language and logic skills. Effective search also requires enough knowledge of the subject matter to formulate a query that will yield the desired information.
For the most part, Internet users gain search skills over time, through trial and error. Unless you're in library school, you are unlikely to be presented with a tutorial on search techniques. We all just kinda wing it, hoping to find the info we want, presuming it's not available if we don't find it right away.
Last Fall, Google released Search Stories Video Creator. It's a nifty little tool that they've released on YouTube that lets you create narrative around search queries to build a short (very short) movie. Enter seven queries in a sequence, indicate whether you want to search the Web, YouTube, maps, etc., then add a soundtrack - et voilå, your very own little 30-sec. movie. Here's mine (my first one, anyway):
I'm reeling from the scads of ways learning designers can embed this tool into all sorts of curricula. Give learners a topic, and have them tell a story to demonstrate content mastery.
- Tell me a story about "metamorphosis."
- Recap the story of "To Kill a Mockingbird."
- Who's got the best story about "quadratic equation?"
- Team A: your group's story is about microlending. Each team member tells a chapter of the story. Each chapter focuses on one key principle. Organize your team. Assign chapters. Tell your story.
There's even a dedicated Search Stories channel on YouTube, with some really fun (and some really not - but they're all PG-rated) examples.