I really hadn’t expected to go back to school this week but courtesy of Google that is exactly what I found myself doing.
I am one of the many from all around the world who have enrolled on its Power Search online course which is designed to make us experts at finding information online.
Up until now I had thought that I was pretty good at locating information online but I quickly realized that it is more by luck than good judgment that I end up finding what I want.
One of the first things I discovered is that when searching I tend to use far too many words and this only serves to confuse the search engine and bring back unrelated results.
I also had no idea that it was possible to use color to narrow down the results offered when searching for images on Google…yes I had seen the blocks of color on the search page but had no idea why I might want to use it.
On day one of the two-week Power Search course I discovered exactly why I might want to use color. Here is just one quick example – searching for a document in Google and filtering the results by “black and white” will tend to bring up line drawings (which are mainly in black and white) or older images. This is a very useful shortcut if you are looking for either of these types of image.
I also discovered that Google totally ignores capital letters so the search terms “History of Aviation” and “hisTOrY oF aviaTIon” would bring up exactly the same results.
Google Power Search is delivered in a series of bite-sized chunks via video (or text document if you prefer) and contains an optional, but highly recommended, short test after each video module to ensure you understood what you have just learned.
On Day One the video segments were typically about seven minutes long and it is a credit to Google that they have gone to great lengths to ensure that the training is delivered in an easy-to-understand manner.
Typically you are told what the module is going to cover, the material is then presented in a clear and straight-forward manner and it is backed up by examples so that the points being made on screen are demonstrated in real time.
If you have not already done so then there is still timefor this course…registration is open until Monday (July 16) but as the on-demand training is available right now there really is no point in waiting if you want to take advantage of this really powerful free online training.