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General EduGeek News/Announcements Thread, Please help us with this. in EduGeek Stuff; Haven't looked at it, but out of interest how does this meta-search thingy sit with the underlying search engines? Used ...
  1. #16

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    Haven't looked at it, but out of interest how does this meta-search thingy sit with the underlying search engines? Used to be they didn't like them at all because you're getting people what they want without them seeing all the Ads that are of course a key part of their business model

  2. #17

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    The developers have the Google and Live APIs, so they don't just scrape the results from a direct search. The product itself is actually quite powerful and can search Sharepoint installs and pretty much anything you point it at. Stop thinking about this as a search engine, but as a schools search tool\resource, and it will have features aimed at making it more educationally sound. So far we have had several criticisms, but not one suggestion on how to improve it as to something schools would find useful. Come on guys, you are usually very good at tearing things to pieces and then telling manufacturers how things should be. That's what we need here.

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    apoth0r's Avatar
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    Ok got it working, had to restart for silverlight 2.0
    It looks good i have to say, interesting spin on displaying results, however, is it much of a muchness for searching? Google revolutionised it by making it simple.
    I spose it could be handy for in a school library to display books or something but im pretty sure people are so used to Google, they wouldn't go anywhere else.
    I'd be interested to have a further play and see what more of an opinion i can generate.

  4. #19

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    OK. Now tried it a bit more. Trying to search for "measure river flow rate" (A Level Geography type exercise) - it appears to search for ages but returns no results (same words in Google give lots of hits instantly)

    Next was "crusader castles syria" - this does give a load of results but how do you use them? I can click on (say) Crac des Chevaliers and then open and I get a load of blurred RSS icons. If I persevere and scroll through them then eventually I get some blurred pictures followed by blurred wikipedia pages. I can click on those and then "open item" (why not just double click??) but nothing happens (well, actually, it tells me that it can't open the page because pop ups are blocked). Why on earth is it trying to use pop ups? Does anyone actually allow pop ups from random web sites??

    Sorry; just not impressed! I suspect it would be easier to just make a page in Moodle listing half a dozen pages which are directly relevant to the topic than try and get this to work in any reasonable way. I'm afraid it's one of those things where form has completely triumphed over function and that's really not a good thing :-(

  5. #20
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    I have had similar results to S Rochford, searches take a long time then my popup blocker doesn't allow links to open, images on search results blurred. Echoing S Rochford why not just create a page of links in your VLE for pupils to search through I cannot see this being any more work than saving your searches in this package. This software IMHO would be throwing money away, I can't see any advantage, it is pretty and clever but there are other ways to give this information to pupils without spending. Software designed in this way I find a little annoying, as I know if you were to show it in schools it would sell, it would appeal to those who do not think beyond what they see before them ie; the flashy interface.

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    Again, you are missing the point as. This is a base, to be built on. What WOULD you like it to do. What WOULD make it better. It's like being negative about buying a base spec car and not asking for all of the upgrades even though you were offered them for free. Use your imagination and think of features. It is all to easy to criticise, this is why Wagumo came to EduGeek to ask for our help. They know they have developed something that could be useful. It's up to us to make it useful. Besides, big long lists of links are not very 21st century are they? Imaging begin able to have one link to a whole mass of relevant videos, sound, images all relevant to the subject being taught, and all managed, sorted and available through one interface?
    Again, please start to use your imaginations.

  7. #22
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    intresting concept

    Ok so I have had a quick play with this search engine.

    I think that IMHO that the cocept is great I love how it visualises the search in a way that could make the results more accesable to the end user.

    Once the safe search option is enforced it would be great.

    I like how that at the top of the screen you can quickly go back to an old search result very quickly as and when needed.

    However I dont like the way that the search box at the bottom of the screen is too small. this could be at the top of the page instead.

    In regards to a name for this something along the lines of visearch (pronounced Viz search)

    just my two pence worth

  8. Thanks to bottletop from:

    Dos_Box (11th June 2009)

  9. #23

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    Thank you, this is just the kind of feedback we need.

  10. #24
    petectid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    big long lists of links are not very 21st century are they?
    But that is all it returns a big list of not 21st century links, yes maybe they are graphically displayed in either the iPod like cover view they call thumbnails or the list view. While this is a nice idea the graphics would look better and the interface if they were sharper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    Again, you are missing the point as. This is a base, to be built on. What WOULD you like it to do.
    In essence the application is a search engine that queries several sources for information, its slow therefore making it faster would be an improvement, along with a few tweaks of the interface. A preference panel would be good to enable this, so that components could be moved around allowing customization of the interface and the selection of search engines or web services queried. Not really sold on it though it is very clever.

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    You know I quite like it.

    Would it be possible for this to be imbedded into learning platforms, specifically sharepoint, MLG? Would it be possible to 'share' searches etc.. between accounts?

    I could see it being used in that context, or perhaps by younger students.

    I would also make it possible to hold the left mouse button and drag left and right on the 'itunes' style results page.

    Also, making the list view sortable by title, description etc..
    Last edited by Crispin; 11th June 2009 at 07:14 PM.

  12. #26

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    Well- its looks nice but I'd like to be able to use the mouse over the images of the web pages instead of having to press on the arrow keys

    e.g respond to hover rather than having to click

    regards

    Simon
    Last edited by SimpleSi; 11th June 2009 at 08:15 PM.

  13. #27

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    • Scroll wheel to skip through results
    • Search corrolation between multiple searches
    • Reading age slider to filter langeage based on reading age algorythem
    • Clicking on plus sign in network view directy expands rather than requireing double click
    • Grabhand icon when over network background to indicate movable content
    • Not so much distracting giggiling of the content as it bounces into place
    • Guided search tems suggested by curriculum data
    Keywords run against localised curriculum to weight search terms to a particular subject area and provide additional suggestions/filters/keywords to run against search results inline or sugested to user for better results and suggesting better search terms
    • Weighted integration - allow results of differnent sources to be weighted seporatly when integrated priorotising internal/known good internal data from sharepoint etc.
    • Ability to select more than one search circle at a time to be opened
    • Reposition open button from right hand side to a more integrated location - possibly avalible as a play type button on the search circle or a larger get pages play symbol on the right hand side
    Personally I don't have an issue with the new window usage for retriving the pages themselves as it makes sence for this kind of thing as you want to corrolate the results of many rather than just one source. This is fine in browsers like firefox as it can be set to open them in new tabs which is better for wide ranging research. I am not aware of a way in code to specify new tab behaviour but this if possible by default would be better.

    Another possible better option would be to implement an enclosed browser type object inside the silverlight app that opened the sources directly inside the app itself and arranged them inside there. Depending on the coding smarts of the app certain portions of the returned pages could be highlighted as useful and used to refine the search further / provide APA style refferencing of the used portions.

    In a school situation internal site integration could make this rather good also. Transparent internal auth by being hosted on an internal server (search appliance) with ad integration could allow for collobrative searching inside a class or school group or assisted searching by passing a difficult search off to a teacher for help. With the above inline open and note feature group research could be carried out with each member adding searchterms and resources for a specific aim. The noteing feature would keep both a copy of the searches and the sources but also the source pages at the time (internal server resommended unless they have a rather large data centre). This data/source package could also be handed off to the teacher at completion as proof/part of marking at finding credible sources.

    Weighted credibility could also be handy but difficult to implement. You could weight based on lists of education providers and major publishers along with lower weightings for blogs / facebook postings. This is not perfect but could be helpful to teach this aspect osmoticly.

    Rather long post and all just suggestions but hopefully some good ones. As to payment I have no idea, It would need to offer some rather compelling features as search is something that most people are used to getting for free so value added features like the above research mode would help out in that regard. It is difficult to assess how much it would be viable to charge untill the full feature set is known. I know that in the primary schools that I deal with it would be a hard sell currently without some distinct educational benifits.

    This has prompted me to thing that guided search walkthroughs could eb a good thing for primary schools. A rich graphical journy through searching suggesting ways to make it more realivant or precise and handleing some of the things like language level/trust for the user transparently.

    A built in theosarus/dictionary to help expand search terms would also seriously benifit students (and teachers/techs ).

    Reliability wise I have had it refuse to return any results a couple of times on known good results "cat", "pheonix" so that may need to be looked into as well.

    Overall it looks to have a lot of potential and I hope that they continue to develop it and have an open dialogue with the edugeek community.

  14. #28

    EduTech's Avatar
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    I haven't had much time to play with it today, so thought i would make it one of the things i do this evening.

    I am finding the system pretty slow at the moment, now weather that is because it is just been throttled by the amount of users that are probably testing it now i dont know.

    I like the interface, but for staff/students i do think it will take some getting used to as the way you search is very different.

    I think with it been silverlight based, the options for future development are very wide!! which is fantastic... One of the options i do like is that you would be able to integrate it into Sharepoint very easily! (i'm guessing you would also be able to do it with moodle etc)

    I do think a scroll function is required using the mouse wheel or something, as it is pretty time consuming clicking the next link recieved in the search.

    I like how it display's the search results in a spider! i think that is kinda cool..

    So thats about it for now, i'll try and use this for my searches over the next few days to provide some more feedback.

    Cheers

    James.

  15. #29
    PEO
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    Will play either tomorrow or over the weekend

  16. #30

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    I like it, and think it would help teachers when then have 30 kids searching the internet for info on a subject.

    The only things i can think of quickly are being able to remove some of the result (categories), the relavance slider grays them out but they can still be selected. Move pages from one category to another just incase, double cliking on the item to open the page, being able to select multiple categories.

    The only issue i have had was it would not display the page properly sometimes it would be blank or a difffernt page altogther.
    Last edited by JOrdan01070; 11th June 2009 at 09:26 PM.



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