Educational Media - Page 3

Inside this Issue

Internet Tools - Google and More

Collaborate on a Wiki

What's an RSS Feed and Why Would I One?

The Teacher's Own Google

Editing Pictures Online

Something Extra:

Research Beyond Google

Educational Media
This three-times a year newsletter is published by the Renton Technical College Library.  If you have any suggestions for topics, please call the library at     (425) 235-2331, or  email  Laura Staley at

The library has over 1300 videos and DVDs covering the RTC curriculum. Want to know if we have anything for your RTC program? Call us at (425) 235-2331.

The library is located at: 3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, WA 98056



Google Research

Google isn’t satisfied with indexing just the World Wide Web.  They want to make journal articles, theses and books equally available. 

Google Book Search—( This service allows you to search the full text of many published books. No longer do you have to rely only on the information on book jackets, in the index, or from subject headings, to decide if a book has what you need.    

Google’s Book Search partners include Harvard University, the Bodleian library at Oxford University (UK), and the University of Michigan.  These libraries have allowed Google to come in and scan most of the books in their collections.

The program includes both in-copyright and copyright-expired books.  When your search pulls up an in-copyright work, you will get a selection from the book including a page where the term appears, and a few other selected pages.  When your search pulls up a copyright-expired book, you will be able to view the entire item, text and images,  table of contents and index.

How useful are these books for the  disciplines RTC teaches? I did a search on arc welding and got 1858 hits; on vascular access and got 669 hits; and on carburetors and got 1184 hits. (When I misspelled it as “carburators”, I still got 95 hits—and a spelling suggestion.)

Book Search is controversial. Some authors and publishers have sued, claiming that it violates copyright. Other publishers have turned over their current books to Google to be scanned. Proponents argue that this service actually increases sales, by allowing people to verify that a particular book is one they want to purchase.

Microsoft is developing a competing service, Windows Live Book Search.  You can try this at:

Book searches have given rise to the fear that they might encourage plagiarism. After trying it out, it’s clear that it poses less of a threat than the web or ProQuest or EBSCOhost.   The page you see with Book Search is an image, not text. It is physically easier to cut and paste text off the web than to retype information from a Book Search preview page. 

Google Scholar—( This tool searches scholarly literature  including journal articles, theses, and conference papers.  It differs from the journal databases ProQuest or EBSCOhost in two ways.

First, most results do not link to the full text of the item.  If you want the full article, you will need to try another source, such as a library.

Second, it uses Google’s patented results ranking technology to give you what it determines are the most reliable results first. The journal databases do this too, but Google’s relevancy ranking is considered to be the best in the search world.

Is it useful for our students? I searched for macular degeneration and found 28,300 article descriptions, from sources like Survey of Ophthalmology and Science And a search for surveying instruments pulled 1,840 items to be tracked down at the library.

Microsoft’s version of this service, called Live Search Academic,  is at


Let Google Be Your Clipping Service

Want to find out when anyone publishes a weblog entry mentioning a specific name or subject?  Or a newspaper with a web presence mentions a topic of interest?  You don’t have to run that search yourself – you can have it done automatically by signing up for Google Alerts.

Simply run a search in Google News or Google Blog search. Look to the left of your search result screen.  There will be a link saying “Blog Alerts” or “News Alerts”. (There will also be the option to sign up for RSS feeds.)  You will be asked for your search terms, your email address, what you want Google to search (current options are news, blogs, groups, the web, and all of the above), and how often you want the search to run.  Google will then send you a verification email.  Click on the emailed link to confirm that you want the search run, and sit back and wait for the results.


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