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Thursday, April 12, 2012
instaGrok - awesome education search, curation, and journal site
instaGrok is a interesting site I just learned about. instaGrok's tagline is "A New Way to Learn" and they define "grok (v): to understand thoroughly and intuitively".
instaGrok is a type of search engine that finds educational content and retrieves it in multiple formats, including web pages, images, videos and even forums. It filters out non-educational content and profanity, uses crowd sourcing to rate the quality of each search result, displays search results according to grade level difficulty, provides source notes, visualizes concepts in an interactive concept map, updates the concept map as you refine your topic. It also allows curation and tracking of your websites, concepts, student activities, and can generate multiple-choice questions from the search results. Students can use it to create editable research journals ("groks") and the groks will be populated with websites visited and the concepts covered. Teachers can review the students' groks and add comments.
Here's an instaGrok search for "Heat Capacity". The search results are shown in the concept map, and as you click on each circle, it opens up more results. The right side menu has key facts, websites, videos, images, quizzes, and concepts. In less than 5 seconds, I have an incredible amount of information and resources on heat capacity that I can use with my students. Students can quickly do searches and find relevant information and resources on any topic.
Here's a summary of features and results:
It's a very cool way to do research and curate and share the results.