I have been looking at other visual search engine alternatives to SearchMe. Beta visual search engine EyePlorer is a reference search engine that takes your initial keyword search term and displays related terms in a color wheel of information based around that term. When you hover over the different areas of the color wheel or click on a topic, information (from Wikipedia) is revealed about that term in the default eyePlorer facts window that opens up. If the information is useful and you want to save for later use, you can drag it onto the EyePlorer notebook at the side. These facts you put into the notebook can be rearranged as needed. Once you have your notes, you can either save, copy or email them.You also have the option of choosing websearch view, that offers links to other sites or an images window (results from Bing). The images are also linked to their sites of origin.
These short explanations from Wikipedia could help give students an overview of the topic without having to read the whole article. They could then go on to do a more indepth search with a better understanding of the topic. All students I know understand about checking the data for accuracy.
Other options for EyePlorer users include:
- “i” button under the search box. Click on this to get a quick summary of the topic
- “+” button to add search parameters
- the paper button to go to a Google search.
This is a an interesting way for students to think about research and explore for new information. Students very easily create a visual guide to their inquiry. It is then a very easy step to drag and drop what they find out into a notebook. This can form the basis for more in-depth research. The brief notes could enable students to see note making as a way taking down main points and important ideas, rather than copying whole slabs of text. The way that the information in the notebook can be rearranged could also help them to go on to think about or work on organising ideas into some sort of order to form the basis of some structure for an argument, conjecture or essay.
It could also be used on a class wide basis. When a teacher wants to introduce a new concept/idea. Using a data projector, so the whole class can watch, the teacher could type the subject into the search and then the whole class could work together to decide which information they want/need to save in the (class)notebook for later. It would also allow the whole class to work on the above ideas.
eyePlorer was created in Germany so you can choose to search in German or English. I had heard that you need to manually choose English but I typed in search terms with English spelling and it automatically searched for results in English for me
Filed under: Education, Library2.0, Research, tools, Video | Tagged: engine, eyeplorer, graphical search engines, Research, Search engines, Searching, tools, visual, visualization, Web2.0 | Leave a comment »