Searching the Web & Internet Tutorials
Tutorials and Learning Aids
Welcome to the World Wide Web! If you are just getting started, take a look at one or more of the following guides:
- These pages teach how to use a computer mouse, using interactive pages to allow you to practice 'mousing around.' A great site for the beginner computer user.
- New User Tutorial
- A tutorial designed to help people who have never used a computer before. Concentrates on using the mouse and a few other basic skills. Provided the The Library Network (TLN) Technology Committee. To begin using the tutorial, press the "enter" or "return" key on your keyboard.
- Learning the Computer Keyboard
- Click on parts of the keyboard to learn about the use of keys in that area. Another great tutorial from the Central Kansas Library System.
- Miss taking that typing class in high school? This site offers free exercises to help you master the skills of touch typing. Requires registration.
- Learn the Net: An Internet Guide and Tutorial
- This free site helps new users learn about the Web, starting with a section on basic browser navigation and continuing with sections on Internet basics, the Web, e-mail, and newsgroups. A weekly Web Tour highlights sites on a particular topic, and the "Digging for Data" section helps teach successful use of search engines. A glossary, learning games, and other features make this an impressive place for Web newbies. Available in English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian.
- Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial
- This site is an excellent tutorial for beginning web users, explaining how to search for information,including effective strategies for using search engines. Also gives a good introduction to the web and the use of the Netscape browser. From the University of California at Berkeley.
- Choose the Best Search Engine for Your Information Need
- A short list of search types, with explanations of the best search strategies for each type with appropriate links. Especially good for K-12 students. From NoodleTools.
- Researching Companies Online
- An excellent tutorial outlining the steps you should follow in undertaking business research on the Internet, whether for investing, marketing, or job-searching. Includes several links to free resources on the web.
- HTML: An Interactive Tutorial for Beginners
- An easily navigated way to begin learning the intricacies of HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the computer language used to create web pages.
- Online Typing Course
- A structured touch typing course for motivated individuals looking to develop their keyboard skills and a free resource to aid supervised keyboarding education in schools, companies, and organizations.
- Online Typing Tests
- From BellaOnline.
- SeniorNet Mouse Exercises
- Learn about placing, clicking, drag & drop, and drawing the mouse.
- W3 Schools
- Free tutorials for website development, including courses in HTML, XML, scripting, and other issues of design and usability. Includes examples and quizzes.
- Web Developer's Virtual Library
- Another site devoted to free tutorials for website development, including plug-ins, design and navigation, and multimedia and graphics.
Search Engines & Directories
Search engines send robots (also called spiders, web-bots, and other names) out to scan the web for new sites on a regular basis. The results are ar chived into the search engine's database, where they are sorted and retrieved by software responding to the term(s) that you have put into the query box. Different search engines navigate the web in different ways and extract information according to different criteria, so it is helpful to be familiar with the techniques and abilities of the search engine you are using. A few of the search engines (there are now more than 60) are listed below, with major characteristics noted. For more detailed information on any search engine, read the 'help' screens associated with that engine.
- A very powerful search engine (and search engine of choice for many of our librarians), Google returns results to queries with relevancy rankings based on the number of other important sites which point to them.
- Newest entry in the search engine sweepstakes. From Microsoft.
- Indexes every word on a page, and as a result provides a very large database for searches. AltaVista also provides advanced searching capabilities which include Boolean operators and several other search variables. It is possible to search for documents in many languages other than English, as well as to perform computer-generated translations (now hosted by Yahoo) from English into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish.
- One of the largest of the newer search engines, AlltheWeb (formerly FastSearch) performs searches very quickly but without some of the advanced features of other engines. Use the drop-down menu to search for all of the words, any of the words, or the exact phrase.
- Internet Searching Tools
- Links to more search engines, directories and metasearch engines, along with web searching tutorials and other helpful links. From the Library at Southern Oregon University.
Hints: When using any of the above search engines to search for a phrase, put " " around the phrase, e.g., "national parks", or else the search engine will find matches for each individual word. Use a plus sign in front of each word you wish included in the result, e.g., +dogs +wild. Use a minus sign in front of each word that you do not want to appear, e.g., +dogs +wild -pets.
Meta Search Engines:
These powerhouses visit multiple databases (more than one search engine or subject index) while performing searches.
- Uses natural language queries, e.g., it will respond to a question such as: "Have the Red Sox ever won a World Series?" A separate Ask for Kids! is available also.
- Searches WWW, Usenet, FTP and newswires. Click the "Help with Syntax" link to view search options.
- Has "mini-crawler" and Power Search functions.
Subject directories are databases of selected websites that have been organized into subject areas by human indexers. You can do a search in the entire database or in a selected subject area; many directories provide both options. Directories are most effective when searching a broad topic with a range of possible sources.
- Probably the best-known hierarchically-organized directory, now a search engine and portal to news, shopping, free email, and more.
- The same principles as Yahoo! with a focus on young people's interests.
- Open Directory Project
- A comprehensive directory of the web compiled by volunteer editors with expertise in various subject areas. Browse by category or use the search engine.
- Individual guides to Internet resources in selected subject areas are offered here. Formerly the Mining Company.
Subject Indexes & Guides:
These indexes are organized according to subject matter, and have been created by librarians or other information professionals. Included sites or pages have been evaluated according to specific criteria, including relevance, content, authorship, ease of use, etc. Generally a description is provided for each site. You can search the entire database or focus on a specific subject area.
- Thousands of carefully chosen and annotated links in various categories with further subdivisions. Includes a search engine. The result of a merger of the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians' Internet Index (LII).
- Digital Librarian
- Maintained by a librarian in New York State, the Digital Librarian contains an impressive number of sites in various subject categories. Very quick loading too.
- An index to the World Wide Web chosen and annotated by librarians specifically for children. Includes a search engine. The advanced search feature allows searching by reading level and use of images. Another essential site from Sunsite at UC Berkeley.
Reviews and Other Resources:
Informative resources to help with understanding new developments on the web, and for reviews of current search engines, directories, web sites, etc.
- Scout Report
- An in-depth review of new websites, including both specialized and general-interest links. You can request automatic e-mail delivery of the weekly editions.
- Search Engine Showdown: The Users' Guide to Web Searching
- Compares "Features, Size & Strategies" of various search engines, along with a miscellany of interesting information and tips for the serious Internet researcher.
- Search Engine Watch
- Everything for the searcher! News, tips, reviews, lists of the major search engines, and more.