I was reading Alan Levine’s blog (@cogdog) lately and he came up with an interesting observation. While people have been cooing and ogling over the new simplified Google search interface, the option to do an advanced search has gone. So, what’s the big deal?
As Alan points out, the net result is that it now takes 6 mouse clicks to find images that are licensed for reuse. In the post, he explains what it takes for him to do in order to find licensed items. It’s a good read. I thought “Is this the same for other search engines”? I turned my attention to Yahoo! to see how it was handling things. Interestingly, you do a search and all of the results come in but if you look in the left sidebar, you have the ability to take a look at content that is licensed for various purposes.
Interesting. So, you do the initial search to get everything and then you filter the content. It makes sense. So, why the issue with Google? Particularly in education, it’s tough enough to explain to folks the concept of Creative Commons but then to make it difficult to find it is puzzling.
Years ago, I had created a Student Reference Portal for our students and I listened to my teacher-librarian friends. They wanted to use the search as a way to handle media literacy and, of course, licensing of content. Consequently, I created a page for search where I took the opportunity to link not to Google (or any other search engine’s) initial page but I poked around to find the advanced search. When students were taught how to do searching, they would use the search page as a starting point so that they would always end up at the advanced search. It still works as well as ever and I hope that people are still working with students in this manner.
But, Alan raises a really important question. Why is the ability to find appropriately licensed images so difficult with everyone’s favourite search engine? I’d love to know why. How do YOU teach students to find and use appropriately licensed images?