Digital Citizenship/Intermediate/Digital Literacy- Online research

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ManyAnswers – this service uses the questions that students frequently ask through AnyQuestions and gives a clear explanation of how you might search for an answer. Look here to see anyone has asked your question before.

Learn how to structure a Boolean search by using Boolify and the Boolean Machine

Choose a topic or question and compare results from various content sources. Try a few different topics to see what the strengths of each resource are.

  • DigitalNZ  for New Zealand content. Use the filters to narrow down your search.
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica Online School Edition PreK-12 through Epic for general multimedia encyclopaedia content. A fantastic resource for readers at all levels. Other epic databases contain thousands of international and New Zealand magazines, full-text journals, newspapers, biographies, substantial reference works, and images on a huge range of subjects.  Your school should have a password or contact to find out what it is.
  • Google searching – use these posters for advanced google searching tips
  • Compare google results to those from other search engines such as Dogpile where you find results from across other search engines
  • Search the school or public library catalogue – does it recommend websites? Are there any books that provide the kind of information you need? Does it contain links to other information sources?


Create a venn diagram, or similar, showing the similarities and differences between two different information sources.


What does the perfect online or physical library look like? What does it need for me to be able to find out anything I need?

What makes a good search question?


For older students - Create a ‘Google A Day’ challenge for your classmates or an entry for ‘ManyAnswers’. Start with a question and tease it out, then show the best way to find the answer.


Students do Google a Day Challenges and record results on Google Docs or similar cloud based notebook.

Make sure you also visit the section on copyright and plagiarism to find links to help with teaching note-taking and referencing and the section on critical thinking with ideas for teaching students to think critically about the information they have found.



Esther Casey - National Library of New Zealand