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Table of Contents
Intro to Backflip | Maintaining Your Bookmarks with Backflip | Google Tips & Tricks
Google's Other Cool Features | Yahooligans! in the Classroom | Yahooligans Teachers' Guide
Other Resources | Credits & Contact
by Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones
Library Media/Technology Specialist
 Howard County Public Schools
MICCA 2004
Every day we use the same great web sites to find things, to organize our links, and to access kid friendly resources in the classroom. But are we getting the most out of these wonderful sites? The following tips & tricks will help increase productivity, usefulness, and fun! BTW, this is an informal and laid back website...lots of links...not lots of flash...easy to load and I hope, easy to put to practical use!
Intro to Backflip: is an awesome site that I hope will be with us for many years to come.  Banner ads on free sites are a necessary evil (so far no pop-ups thank goodness!) I tell my students when we're in the lab that though I think that they are a winner - when it comes to Internet Banner ads they have NOT won the hourly prize, they Don't have a message waiting for them and they are Never, ever to punch that stupid monkey! I then go into how it's not cool to be duped by banner ads and pop ups... I even have a folder on my Backflip called Ignore All Banner Ads...
Anyway, I've been using Backflip for about 4 years now and have only been disappointed a few times (not bad considering the reliability of most sites!)....many people use and indeed, so did I before I found Backflip.
Backflip is easier! It's easier to add links, to add folders, to move links within and between folders and to share with others.
Maintaining your bookmarks online with Backflip*
So here's the first question: how many computers do you use? Chances are you use several over the course of a week or even a day. How easy is it to transfer bookmarks (or favorites) from your classroom machine to your home machine to a computer lab? Well, Backflip makes that transfer as easy as going to Yahooligans or Google.

With Backflip you can:

  • store all of bookmarks online,
  • access them anywhere in the world,
  • easily categorize them and
  • export them to HTML.
This makes saving and sharing bookmarks for your students easier than ever! With one favorite on the computer lab machines your students need never put in a long URL ever again! You can even export these links to an HTML file to save and to make into a web site!

This site contains a short collection of job aids to make your use of Backflip more efficient.

Other information and tips about Backflip
  • The Making your folders a public feature could be used to create a resource page for a project or other assignment. You can make a single folder or your entire list of bookmarks public. But if you want your kids to see your folders - don't forget to check off Public folder!
  • The Daily Routine feature allows you to set up a list of sites you visit on a regular basis in a specific order. Good if you wake up and read the paper, check the weather, check the stocks, etc. every morning.
  • PC users have some more tool options, click on the Get Tools link to find out more.
  • Putting the Backflip it! button on your toolbar is the fastest and easiest way to add sites to your Backflip folders! Just drop down and select the folder they should reside in - and add a description of the site if you like. Then Voila! It's ready to use!
  • The My New Pages tab will bring you to the last 10-50 pages you added. It will also let you refile them all at the same time (instead of one at a time in the folders).

  • Aren't you ready to do backflips already?

    Example of my Backflip folder: Backflip Publisher Media Resources
    Last count I had 108 folders and 540 pages saved as links.

Tips & Tricks

Google has been a skyrocketing force in Web Searching and my personal start up page for years... the history of Google is also interesting..but let's get down on how to use it more effectively for greater search results!
    Using the wonderful Four NETS for Better Searching by the awesome Bernie Dodge can narrow down and really funnel through the millions of web pages to get just what you want!
    You can also learn about URL trimming and all kinds of search shaving!
    # 1 Google Tip & Trick: Advanced Search
Google's  Other Cool Features:

    Search and browse 4,500 news sources updated continuously:
    I use this site with my TV studio kids to get the latest breaking news from around the world!

    The most comprehensive image search on the web.
    And no kidding, great when you're looking for that special graphic to use (with credit  & permission!) in a PowerPoint Presentation or a lesson.
    Try this easy search and another example of narrowing a search:
    Results from:
    "computer labs" = 6,230 for (0.09 seconds)
    "school computer labs" = 63 (0.06 seconds)
    "middle school computer labs" =7  (0.05 seconds)
    Remember using the "quote" is cool! Everybody is doing it! :::LOL

    froo·gle (fru'gal) n. Smart shopping through Google.
    A good resource if you're in the market to shop for things on the Internet. Or to compare prices before you head out to the mall. This is one of the resources I used before buying my new Sony Cybershot. It lists the prices and the pictures of your item. For more digital camera information you can also check out my other web site DC-101: Digital Camera Basics, Buying and Use in the Classroom (shameless self promotion pitch over!)

    The web organized by topic into categories.
    Looks like how Yahoo! used to look like....easy to find categories.

More, More, More!
    On just about every Google main page there is the More, more, more button. Click the screen captured image below  which is a link to that Special Google Services site:

The Google Calculator! Yes, it can Add, Subtract, Multiply & Divide for You, Too!

    And what the result was:

    Google Phone Directory
    Put any phone number into a Google web search box and you can look up the address of a business or home. Just remember you must use the - between each set of numbers.

    which will result in:

    WARNING: There are safety ramifications to this diretory...and you CAN remove your listing on Google. But when this listing is used for a residence to find a minor, that can get scary! . For more information on Internet Safety for Parents & Teens Check out my other web site. (Oops! Another shameless self promotion for another web site! ::LOL)

    Google the Language Translator!
    Google breaks the language barrier with this translation feature. Using machine translation technology, Google now gives English speakers access to a variety of non-English web pages. This feature is currently available for pages published in Italian, French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese.

    Just For Fun! Google Inspired Humor
    Need to Find Mister/Miss Right? Search for your perfect match!
    ? Lost Items? Search for missing pets, keys or spouses.
    Looking for the Meaning of Life? Find the answers you've been looking for.  Feeling Sad? Search for ways to get out of that emotional slump.
    Check out the Google Search Parody's fun and it also works...sorta! I still can't find that missing check from Hopkins!

It's nice to know there is a general web site out there with information on Arts & Entertainment, News, Countries, U.S. States, Geography, Around the School Bell, Lang. Arts, Math, Social Studies, TV, Movies, Jokes, Music, Science & Nature, Space, Animals, Dinosaurs...Computers & Games, Screensavers, World Wide Web...without running into anything inappropriate! It's a great site with lots, and lots of awesome features. And yes, I use it with Middle School students. It's the first stop on any Internet search journey!
Something Buzzworthy
The Yahooligans! Buzz Index - Today's Most Popular Searches. Kids just love to see what other kids are looking for. As quoted, "Yahooligans! Buzz is our way of showing you the hottest terms that people like you are searching for on Yahooligans!"
How the Buzz Index Works
The Yahooligans! Buzz Index counts the total number of people searching for specific subjects and converts that into a buzz score, which is then used to create the list of Buzz leaders you see here. All the rankings on the Yahooligans! Buzz Index are updated each weekday and reflect the traffic from two days earlier.
Ranked by hit. Ok, to me...this is a MATH LESSON just waiting to happen!

So many wonderful resources for the Educator: Lesson Plans, Internet Literacy, Teaching Resources ?
  •  Teaching Search Strategies
  •  Frequently Asked Search Questions
  •  Using The Big Picture in Your Classroom
  •  Teaching With Yahooligans! Games
  •  What Are Net Events?
Yahooligans! Categories
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Art
  • Music
  • Health
Sites to Explore & Professional Organizations! It really is one of the places you need to put into your Backflip folder of Teacher Resources and share with your colleagues!

Other Resources:
Specialized Search Engines and Directories
A list of URL's compiled by Bernie Dodge, September 2003*

Noodle tools quick survey to help narrow your search, can be used with students in the classroom*

NoodleBib Starter An online prompted help site for citing references properly, geared for students in grades 1-5*

Internet Public Library tips for searching the internet and a comparison of several popular search engines*
*Thanks to Lavonne Taylor for gathering and notating the above awesome sources!

KartOO is a metasearch engine with visual display interfaces. When you click on OK, KartOO launches the query to a set of search engines, gathers the results, compiles them and represents them in a series of interactive maps through a proprietary algorithm.
Huh? It gives your results in a mapped picture much like an Inspiration type web! Try it, it's FUN!
Requires FLASH and make sure to click Web rather than UK pages.

Search Like a Librarian by LMS Paula Montrie
an annotated list of the best search strategies and sites for just about any educational topic under the sun!

Digital Image Galleries
Not free but not really expensive, (with discount # $24.95 a year) I've gotten addicted to my Smugmug!  Not my personal face, of course but the web site I joined called With one click uploads of hundreds of digital images, beautiful automatic thumbnails, easy rotate and correct color, easy to add captions and folders,  it's the best for quickly showing and sharing your digital pics! I used to have and preach the benefits of an ofoto acct...but it got to be unreliable for sharing pictures, it created more frustration than it was worth, then I found out about Smugmug from a friend and I have two accounts now!
One personal of travel, friends, historic reenactment events, etc.
and one for my school. That way, when the spring flashback school dance is still going on, or the Shakespeare Festival actors are still riding home on their bus, I've already uploaded the pictures to show them online! (And they can show their parents, too!)
Use my discount # to get $5.00 off your yearly membership - WOW! smugmug is great! Ok, this was the only truly commercial plug on this site...but when I love something, I've gotta share it!~

Thanks for visiting! ~gwyneth

Credits & Contact
Thanks to all the web sites for providing logo's to use with this page.
Thanks to Lavonne Taylor for contributing annotated search links.
Thanks to Paula Montrie for the link to the Search Like a Librarian site!
Thanks to Dan McDowell of the Sand Diego City schools for the awesome Backflip site and for Inspiring me to write even more!
            For more information/questions/extra links
or ideas feel free to contact
Gwyneth Anne Jones

first created: April 20, 2004
last updated: April 25, 2004
re-uploaded: October 19, 2004
after the crash of the staff.howard web server on or about august 2004

©copyright gwyneth anne jones