Telling Search Stories with Google

Yesterday, my district hosted a day of professional development for teachers and staff that are involved with the e-learning program at three area districts (including mine).  It was a great day for teachers to collaborate and learn with each other about best practices and hopefully get some new ideas for teaching online.

In the afternoon, we had a good ol’ tech tools smackdown where folks from each respective district went back and forth sharing a favorite tool they have used or think students would enjoy using in an online course. I decided to share the Google Search Story Creator.  If you’ve never created a Google Search Story, it’s a lot of fun and a great way to quickly share a search experience. Since the search story creator is kind of hard to find (it’s located towards the bottom of this page and says YouTube is making a new, permanent home for it), I also made a custom link that was easier to share with others. Please feel free to pass this along: http://bit.ly/searchstorycreator.

I wanted the teachers to see a relevant example first before I explained how to create one. I only had about 4 minutes total during the smackdown so the first 35 seconds was sharing an example of a finished search story. One of the online courses in my district (American Government), students have an assignment to create a short commercial for a political candidate. I thought this would be a great way for students to chronicle locating information about a specific candidate. So I created this search story:

I picked the first candidate that came to mind and it very briefly shows how I located information on a particular subject. Students would have a great time creating these and I’m sure would do a much better job than my example (as I alluded to in a conversation later that day).

Then I went on to explain how the search story creator works. You plug-in your search terms, define the type of Google search to be completed on each of those terms (web, images, maps, news, blog, product, or books), add some music and upload to your YouTube account. As you can see in the above example, YouTube (Google) packages it all together in a nice little video to share with classmates or make it a nice addition to an overall assignment.

Click for a larger preview

When you’re creating one, definitely take advantage of the preview area as you plug-in your search terms and define the kind of search you want to perform. This comes in handy for checking out the kind of results that are going to appear in your video before you finalize it.

Have fun creating your search story!

10 thoughts on “Telling Search Stories with Google”

  1. Just had a go at putting in my favourite things and hey presto it looks fab – can really see the learning opportunities this will offer. Can’t wait to try it out after the half term hols. Thanks

  2. Gotta admit…I don’t get it. What is the story in the example search story? It seems to be that a bunch of stuff moderately related to the GOP nomination campaign is quickly available through Google.

    Inasmuch as there would be narrative here, I expect to see one search impact the next one. So that after searching for health care, the information found there spurs the searcher to search for something related-more detail perhaps.

    I worry that the narrative structure is really challenging to develop, but that the search story looks and sounds really cool regardless. I would be curious to hear what learning opportunities others see in these.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment. The example was meant to be a highlight of a political candidate. It could be used to present information as an overview, or one search could build on another and show a progression. Or it could simply be used to introduce a larger project, kind of like the old anticipatory set perhaps? If nothing else, it could start an important conversation with students on curating quality information on the web.

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