This handout comprises one of the many parts of Andy Jones' Computer Aided Instruction Site: http://cai.ucdavis.edu
If you have any questions, about any CAI topics that I do or do not cover here, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Start with "Searchenginewatch.com" at http://searchenginewatch.com/
Searchenginewatch lists and reviews search engines, suggests which search engines cover the largest percentage of web pages available (and if size matters), and offers statistical data on just about every element of searching. The information here can be overwhelming, but its "First Time Visitors" link explains the organization of the whole. Start here for helpful tutorials on "search engine math" and "power searching for everyone."
Next, visit "Allsearchengines.com" at http://www.allsearchengines.com/
This site offers links to all the major search engines, including
www.google.com (as I mention below, "Google" is the best search engine available)
to meta-search engines, such as
and to directories, such as
Open Directory Project at www.dmoz.org.
The goal of the Open Directory Project's goal is "to produce the most comprehensive directory of the web, by relying on a vast army of volunteer editors." For an example of the Open Directory Project at work, visit
Finally, be sure to consider the following search engines, not listed on Allsearchengines.com. The first, searchedu.com, allows users to consult solely educationally-hosted web pages (or solely government sites or only databases of online books), as well as access to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and thesauri:
The Argus Clearinghouse of Information is a directory which offers a "selective collection of topical guides":
The Search Engine Colossus offers a collection of Academic Search Engines:
The most impressive of these, I think, is the Librarians' Index to the Internet:
LincOn.Com offers a large selection of specialized search engines:
Finally, I'm very excited about a "new" search engine that I discovered while researching this talk. CNet's www.search.com is a meta-search engine that either searches 700 search engines in "real time" (i.e. immediately), or it allows you to limit your findings to resources in a particular field, such as current news or encyclopediae. Try it.
Before I leave this topic, I should mention that Google (at www.google.com) is by far the best search engine for most searches. An article in a March edition of Salon magazine (http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/03/24/google_odp/print.html ) explains Google's relationship with the Open Directory Project (mentioned above) and why Google is such an effective search engine:
[Google is] fast and accurate, with an uncanny ability to put the thing you most wanted to find directly under your nose. The technology that makes this happen is equal parts rocket science and peer review. Google's hypertext-based system for ranking search results uses a mathematical algorithm to rate Web sites based on the number of other sites linking to them, then factors in how heavily linked those sites are. The result is a form of objectivity that springs directly from the Internet community, translating its distributed judgments into a quick, precise read of what matters and what you can do without.
On July 5th, Yahoo! announced a partnership with Google, making it the deault search engine for the internet's most popular site. See the article at http://www.searchenginewatch.com/sereport/00/07-yahoo.html for details.
Databases Available to the U.C. Davis Community
The Complete list of databases available to UCD instructors and students is available at
This list is broken down into disciplines by our various libraries reference departments:
My favorite of all these is Lexis-Nexis, where one finds hundreds of thousands of full-text articles under the "Academic Universe" heading:
Investigate the University of California's "California Digital Library" at
and the U.C. Berkeley Digital Library at
Tools and Resources on Campus
When I need help with technical or theoretical questions about teaching with technology, I look first to The Arbor, which exists primarily to provide support to U.C.D. instructors using instructional technology. http://arbor.ucdavis.edu/
At the "Resources" link, the Arbor staff have written and organized a large collection of definitions, explanations, and autotutorials. For instance, Maureen Coulson explains how to get started building web pages: http://arbor/resources/internet/web1.html
and Botany Professor Richard Falk has written an impressive number of articles for the Arbor, including one that covers much of the above information on searching the web: http://arbor/resources/internet/search/search.html
If you want quick access to information on computer accounts, computer labs, the faculty modem pool, email, class listservs, newsgroups, etc., then visit the Faculty Web page on IT's site. At this site you'll find answers, or people who can provide the answers, to most technology and teaching-related questions that you encounter during this week-long workshop:
The Faculty Services Guide is another must-see resource:
Investigate the new "ITDMC"; not a rock band, it stands for the new Instructional Technology and Digital Media Center, the new faculty entry point for IT services
As you may know, The Teaching Resources Center provides a central access point for IT Information and advice:
When you visit the TRC site, visit the "Using Technology in Teaching" page:
Finally, visit the "Training" site at IT, where you will find information about self-paced training, instructor-led training, and helpful reference materials:
Tools and Resources Off Campus
Every major academic discipline has a "portal" somewhere, that is, a collection or directory of resources specific to that discipline that interested parties visit to begin any investigation of web-based resources.
One portal which covers many of the topics important to instructional technology, is Michael L. Halls "Teaching with Electronic Technology" page at the University of Maryland. I bookmark and visit this site because it is comprehensive and updated often. Take the time to explore some of the links here:
Another is "Instructional Technology Connections" at the University of Colorado at Denver:
The best way to find the major portals in your discipline is to enter the most relevant keywords in the Google search engine, paying special attention to which sites appear first. In the Humanities, we usually start with Alan Liu's famous and monstrous site, The Voice of the Shuttle:
You might also want to investigate Camera Obscura's meta-index of academic and scholarly resources. It takes a while to load:
To see how other professors in your discipline have presented materials via course web pages, visit The World Lecture Hall at
The most comprehensive history pages that I found during a quick search include
The History Place (with great visuals, timelines) at http://www.historyplace.com/
The History Buff's Home Page (good on American History) at http://www.historybuff.com/
And a collection of Social Studies Links at http://killeenroos.com/links.htm
I found all these sites at http://directory.google.com/Top/Reference/Education/Subjects/History/
You might also check http://www.search.com/search?channel=1&tag=st.se.fd..sch&q=History
Another good one, presented by the Librarians' Index to the Internet (at http://lii.org/) is http://lii.org/search?title=History&query=History&subsearch=History&searchtype=subject
Innovation and Experimentation with Existing Internet Tools and Resources
First, make sure that you are aware of all the Instructional Technology tools are available to you as a classroom leader. To do this, visit
Consider creative ways to use the many tools available to you. Automated Class Mailing Lists allow instructors to expand students' understanding of office hours and class discussion. Compelling students to offer substantive responses to questions raised during a class lecture may make up for unavailable discussion time.
Finally, forcing students to participate in the information-gathering process will allow students to use their web skills, which are often more practiced and honed than our own, to add to the class discussion, or to keep their instructor updated on newly-discovered resources in your discipline.
Other Resources/Handouts Like This One
A great place to start is this web presentation titled "Finding Quality Information on the Web"; it lists all the important sites that explain web searching (as I have started to do here): http://www.iona.edu/faculty/afranco/iima/webliog.htm
One site called "Finding and Evaluating Information" (http://www.unc.edu/cit/tips/eval.html) is part of UNC-Chapel Hill's Center for Instructional Technology (http://www.unc.edu/cit/)
This tutorial on finding information on the web, created by hardworking librarians at U.C. Berkeley, is perfect for beginners: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/FindInfo.html
The best meta-site on searching the web is available through Google at http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Internet/WWW/Searching_the_Web/Help_and_Tutorials/
Again, if you have questions in the future, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com, or see what new handouts and resources I have added to my Computer-Aided Instruction site, at http://cai.ucdavis.edu.