The announcement that Google Social Search is now available to everyone in beta was an exciting development I stumbled upon yesterday while looking for web-based resources on courtly love to support the database and print materials in a research pathfinder I’m developing for two of my English teachers.
This new search feature represents what I think is the evolution of the web as mainstream websites and social media/social networking become more integrated in search results. On a personal level, the integration of my social network associated with my Google Profile into a Google search gives me yet another seamless and powerful way of tapping into the collective knowledge of my personal learning network. Now that the social media tools associated with the Google Profile of my colleagues are part of my Google search results, I can access information and materials (original or that from others) they are sharing and posting through the cloud. Take a look at this sample search and results when I search for ipad.
What are the implications for the students I teach in the library? The integration of Google tools has been a major push with ninth and tenth grade students this academic year. I think this new search feature of Google will reinforce the idea of collaborative learning and knowledge construction as students can now “network” through their Google Profiles. This new search feature also presents the opportunity to underscore the importance of establishing a positive digital footprint and to expand our existing conversations about social scholarship. As my Media 21 project gears up for an unofficial phase two on February 23, I am looking forward to integrating this new search feature into our “toolbox” of information seeking strategies; I am also eager to show students the possibilities for sharing information sources through Google Profiles and Google Social Search.