Saturday, June 26, 2010

Five Real-time Search Engines for You to Try

Today at Edubloggercon the post-lunch session was labeled as a technology apps smackdown. A smackdown is organized as a fast-paced presentation of many tools by many people. Everyone takes a turn sharing for two minutes. I came to the session late and missed out on the chance to share three real-time search engines with the audience. Real-time search engines draw their results from popular social media services like Delicious, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.

What makes real-time search results different from standard search results is that the most current links are given priority over older links. Real-time search is very helpful for finding information about the latest trends or news in a particular niche. Here are some real-time search engines that you should try.

Scoopler is real-time search engine that allows you to simultaneously search Delicious, Digg, Twitter, and Flickr in one place. Scoopler is quite simple, enter a search term and you'll find results from all four of those services. Results are sorted into two columns, "live" which provides the most recently shared links and "popular" which is based on the number of times a link has been shared.

Mashpedia is an interesting service that matches reference articles from Wikipedia to materials from other sources like YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Digg, and the web in general. The purpose of drawing materials from multiple sources is to provide users with a comprehensive view of news stories and reference topics.

NachoFoto is an image search engine designed to bring you the latest images from across the web on emerging trends and breaking stories. According to their whitepaper NachoFoto searches for images based on recency, image density on a webpage, inward links, and domain authoriy. What this means for people searching on NachoFoto is that they will see new photos before older photos, will find images from sites that frequently post new quality images, and find images from websites that are family friendly.

Faroo is a real-time search that offers a couple of options not found in other real-time search engines. Faroo allows you to sort your search results by current popularity or sort your results in a timeline format. Faroo also gives you the option to preview a link's content by hovering your cursor on the link without actually clicking the link. Finally, if you're following a topic, you can subscribe to the RSS feed for your search and be notified of new results as they appear.

Collecta is a real-time search engine designed to draw the latest links about any given topic from a variety of sources. Collecta draws its results from Twitter, YouTube, and various blogs and news websites. Collecta offers a free widget that you customize to search for particular terms and place on your blog or website.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:

Beyond Google - Improve Your Search Results

Aviary for Education Launches in Beta

Over the last year Aviary's suite of tools has become one of my favorite free resources on the web. This week Aviary took another step up the ranks of my list of favorite free tools. This week Aviary launched, in beta, Aviary Education. Aviary Education will give teachers and students access to Aviary's image editor, music creator, vector editor, and sound mixing service. Aviary Education will allow teachers to manage student accounts, give assignments, and messages all students at once within a private environment. Aviary Education is in beta and you do have to apply and be approved to use the new service. When you apply you do need to provide you school email address as well as the name and location of your school.

You can read about Aviary's sound mixer Myna here. You can read about Aviary's music creator Roc here. In the slideshow below you will see how to use Aviary Roc.

If you're a Google Apps for Education school, you can add all of Aviary's services to your Google Apps. Read about how to do that here.

Applications for Education
This year my students used Aviary's Myna sound editor to make sound tracks for mini-documentary videos they made about the expansion of US borders during the 19th century. Roc is a relatively new offering from Aviary that will allow anyone to create music tracks. You can then take those Roc tracks and mix them with voice tracks in Myna to create an outstanding original sound track for a podcast or video.

The image editing tools offered by Aviary are great free, web-based, alternatives to the offerings of Photoshop.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
How to Use YouTube's New Video Editor
Free Guide - Making Videos on the Web
Five Ways Students Can Build Multimedia Timelines