Search results may vary depending on the keywords entered in the search bar. Thanks to this guessing game, participants will discover different tips for carrying out the most accurate and efficient searches on the Internet.
Preparation time for facilitator
Time needed to complete activity (for learner)
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During this activity, participants will be introduced to a game-based way of using a search engine and will learn how to make their searches more efficient. For this, the activity will progress in 3 steps:
1. ‘Who am I?’ This is a reflex game in which participants have to guess something – an object, a notion, or whatever. The facilitator will give clues to help players find what they are looking for through internet research.
2. Conclusion based on efficient search methods: this part will aim to analyse different methods used by participants to do their research and to give the right clues.
3. ‘Who am I?’ Playing the same game as before, participants will guess a famous person.
Facilitation tip: For the two games, you can use words and personalities we suggest below. It is up to you to create other ones according to the level and interests of your group. For more information on search engines we recommend you see the workshop plans ‘Using and Differentiating Search Engines‘ and ‘Search Engine Indexing‘.
Preparing the workshop: Each participant should have access to a computer. You could also create teams to simultaneously introduce some competition and cooperation. In any case, you prepare two random selections:
- One on tips for assisting internet searches for users to learn basic knowledge about a particular subject
- Another on personalities little or well known for which the descriptions have to be precise enough to be able to respond to the question ‘Who am I?’ through simple online research.
What am I?
Once things are set up, choose a word randomly from the ‘who am I?’ hat. Participants should be at their computer with a search engine open in front of them. ‘3…2…1…GO! I am a free and multi-platform result of a project led by thousands of volunteers. By 2010, I had been downloaded so much that I started to be considered a competitor to Internet Explorer.’ The first person or team to find the answer wins a point. If no one succeeds, you could give more clues (e.g. it’s a browser!) where possible.
Methods for effective research
After the first activity, discuss with participants about which research methods were the most effective. Why? What exactly has to be entered into the search bar to find information as quickly as possible? To find out, we have to practice by searching for something. Beyond just giving immediate responses, you should ask participants to search online on how to search effectively. They should do this themselves and share their methods afterwards.
- To vary the exercise, ask participants to give keywords for research and compare them with the results obtained by the ‘winners’
- We should see the ‘connectors’ and shortcuts. Compare for example searches when typing first (without quotation marks) ‘digital travelers’, then, search again by typing ‘digital travelers’ but this time with the quotation marks.
- Next, type (without quotation marks) ‘digital -travelers’. We can also try ‘digital +travelers’. Take note of all the different kinds of results.
- To search for more recent results or for information dating from a certain period, click on ‘tools’.
Who am I?
Now that participants have the keys on hand for efficient research, repeat the game by complicating things a bit: this time, someone picks a name out of the ‘Who am I?’ hat. There will be a less explicit description than those from the previous round. As a result, you won’t be able to simply type in keywords straight away, but will have to get to answer gradually. If some participants know the response before looking, we can ask them to present how they knew the answer which in itself will require searching. This is the same as ‘What am I’ except participants will have to choose from another box and that they will now be more aware of how to search well. It is through practice that we become a great Digital Traveler!
'What am I?' annexes
- Search engine: Duckduckgo
→ I am a search engine whose name refers to both a game and a dodging movement. I do not collect or store your personal information when you use me. What am I?
- Browser: Mozilla Firefox
→ I am a free and multi-platform result of a project led by thousands of volunteers. By 2010, I had been downloaded so much that I started to be considered a competitor to Internet Explorer. What am I?
- Operating System: Ubuntu
→ I am an operating system used all over the world. My name – meaning ‘humanity to others’ – is taken from an African Nguni philosophy. What am I?
- Program: Worm
→ I am a malware whose name was first applied by John Brunner. When I get unleashed, I slow down devices I get into. Often, I am used to spy on computers. What am I?
- Network model: Peer-to-peer
→ I am a distributed application architecture close to the client-server model but in which every client is also a server. I can be centralised (connections pass by an intermediate central server) or decentralised (connections are made directly). I can be used to share files, distributed computing or communication. What am I?
- Company: Yahoo!
→ I am an American company. I provide a number of services including a search engine, email, instant messaging, url hosting, etc. I am not Google. In the early days of the internet, I was a a simple online directory.
- Website: Dailymotion.
→ I am a French website. I host a lot of content and users can use my search engine to find and watch videos online. What am I?
- Research centre: MIT
→ I am an American research centre situated in Cambridge. I am known worldwide and my researchers gave rise to tools and programs such as Scratch and the App Inventor. What am I?
- Organisation: Libraries Without Borders
→ I am an organisation founded in 2007 in Paris. I work to give everyone all over the world access to education, library access and the ability to live with dignity. I believe every person should have access to information and education and I am constantly promoting cultural diversity worldwide. What am I?
'Who am I?' annexes
- Larry Wall (creator of the language Perl)
→ Born in 1954, I married Gloria and 4 children: Aron, Lewis, Heidi and Geneva. In 1986, I became the creator of a programming language, which, according to Wikipedia, was first used on December 19th 1987. Who am I?
- John Warnock (PostScript, Adobe)
→ I am a programmer and my first name is not Charles. Charles and I sounded a well known company. This creates and manages free programs and created the editing language PostScript. My company is also responsible for a very well known image manipulation software: Photoshop. Who am I?
- John Carmack (3D, Quake, Doom)
→ I am not old, still alive, and fascinated by virtual reality. My parents are called Stan and Inga. They let me study at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. The company where I work as a lead developer and co-founder works in video games. In 1993, we released one of the first-person shooter games. Who am I?
- Alan Cox (Linux core)
→ I have a beard, long hair and a prominent bald spot on the top of my head. In 2003, got a prize for developing free software. Who am I?
- Andreï Ershov (programming expert)
→ I am a member of the same Academy that developed the famous game Tetris, creator of an IT school and a founder of programming. I was born in 1931 and died in 1988. Who am I?
- Kevin Mitnick (hacker)
→ Born in California, I illegally accessed databases of large corporations. It was by doing this that my skills were recognised and I was hired as a consultant in IT security. Who am I?
- Guido Van Rossum (creator of Python)
→ Extract from an interview by linuxfr.org: ‘DLFP: If you started working on Python today, what it would it be like? Would it still be Python? ??: I really have no idea, and I’m not sure it would be possible to respond to this question. My outlook been moulded by 14 years developing Python: I can’t imagine what it would be if I hadn’t done it.’ Who am I?
- Zun (creator of the game du Touhou)
→ I am the creator of a series of games involving a universe full of many people, most of whom are women. Inspired by arcade games like Space Invaders, Donkey Kong and Pacman, I wanted to make a more complex game. Playing my game, you cannot just rely on memorising a set pattern – you have to really increase your skill to progress. I composed all the music in the game including Bad Apple, the most well-known track.
- Alan Turing (Church-Turing thesis, Turing machine, artificial intelligence)
→ I died at 41, renowned for several theories and work mainly in the domains of crypto-analysis, maths and computing. I was an officer in the British Empire and a member of the Royal Society. I have appeared in across my works: literature, theatre, radio, television, cinema and graphic novels. Who am I? Clue: find me on the Wikipedia page on the Theory of Complexity