ICT Tip: Google Timeline and date specific searches

November 16, 2010

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:


Quick overview: How to search with Google using time specific variables. Great for tracking down information on past news stories and major world events.

How can these tools be used in the classroom? Google Timeline is a tool from Google that returns search results represented on a visual timeline with units representing years or months. This technique can be useful when your students would like to explore similar topics and themes that have occurred in the past.

How does the timeline search work? For example, typing in “oil spill” would likely show two significant peaks (of search results) on a Google Timeline graph from 1960 to 2010. The first peak would likely be in 1989 with the Exxon Valdez oil spill while the second peak would likely be in 2010 with the Deepwater Horizon distaster.

How does date specific search work? You can also instruct Google to return searches from a specific date range. Searching by date range can be useful if your students are researching a current event and would like to see anything new (i.e – last 24 hours or more) has come up since their last search on Google. (Source: Tammy Worcester, ISTE 2010 Denver conference)

Video Tutorial: Click the play button below to see how to search with Google Timeline and date specific results:

ICT Tip: Google News Timeline website – A new way to search the past!

September 8, 2009

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:

Quick overview: A website that allows your students to search for specific keywords (i.e – people, places, events, quotes) in old newspapers and magazines. Think of searchable digital microfiche, updated for the web, and free!

How does it work? The Google News Timeline website (newstimeline.googlelabs.com) displays search results in a chronological, graphical timeline. The search history can be set to display days, weeks, months, years, or even decades. In fact, some archived newspapers go back as far as the early 1800’s!  For more recent decades, Google News Timeline will search through more contemporary news sources (web, wikipedia) but it can be disabled in your search preferences, if desired.  

How can it be used in the classroom: While many of our students tend to rely on Wikipedia for their historical research (not always a good thing) they could be instead encouraged to use Google Timeline to look through archived print media. Google News Timeline is like visiting the library all over again.. a truly fascinating site, definitely worth a look! (Source: Susan van Gelder, LEARN)

Video Tutorial: To see an on-line video overview of how the Google News Timeline site works, click the large play button below:



Note: If you are interested in a website that will allow your students to read through current newspapers, please consult my other ICT Blog posting featuring the Newseum website.

google news timeline is a web application that organizes search results chronologically. It allows users to view news and other data sources on a browsable, graphical timeline. Available data sources include recent and historical news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and information about various types of media, like music albums and movies.

ICT Tip: A search engine that helps you find FSL activities to use in your classroom

February 11, 2009

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:

Quick overview: An FSL “search engine” that is specifically designed to help you find on-line FSL activities to use in your classroom. A search engine is a website that maintains an index of many other websites, like Yahoo or Google.

How can it be used in the classroom? The FSL ALL! search engine (www.tinyurl.com/fslall) helps you search for various FSL websites and activities. FSL activities are sorted into different categories such as “prononciation, jeux, tests, parler francais, lecture, etc..”. You can also manually search by keywords (mot-clés) if you prefer.

Important note: If you planning to use this ICT resource to find and share FSL websites with your students, always test and familiarize yourself with each website BEFORE you give it to your students! On the surface, some websites may appear to be what you’re looking for but may not be what you expected when you actually try it out yourself!



ICT Tip: Refining your Google searches for the classroom

July 1, 2008

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:

Quick overview: An easy to learn tip to help you or your students narrow down searches with Google.

What does it do? Many teachers have already discovered that Google (http://www.google.com) is a great resource for finding class materials. But did you know that there are a few EASY tricks to help narrow down your searches? Keep reading for a good one..

How can it be used in the classroom? Let’s say you were doing a project with your students on birds, with a focus on Blue Jays. The problem you may encounter is that you’ll likely find more material on the Blue Jays baseball team instead of Blue Jay birds since they share the same name. So how do you tell Google to search ONLY for Blue Jay birds? In order to tell Google exclude certain content from a search, you could use a minus symbol in front of words you don’t want to search for. It’s important to have a space between the words you enter and the minus sign (see below) or Google will think that the two words are hyphenated.

For example, to tell Google that you want to search for bluejays (but not baseball!) you would type:


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