Take Kids Deep Inside Where the Deep Web Hides

simulpost with TechLearning

Dr. Robert McLaughlin was one of our guests on the Wow2 show this past Tuesday night and made some interesting comments about and the importance of tapping into deep web resources.

I think that many of us, myself included just forget about the importance of the deep web. And with fully 95% of deep web resources being free, there is no excuse for not exposing students (and ourselves) to this amazing part of the Internet.

With the “deep web”, some experts estimate that 50 times the data than is available on the surface web (sites indexable by search engines) reside behind deep web – password protected databases, non-indexed web pages or query-only databases.

I will admit, I'm really a beginner at the deep web, but have begun my journey.

I want to share with you some of the deep web information and resolutions of mine since I've begun my own intentional exploration of the deep web:

Share the tutorials and resources that helped me understand this better:

Now, don't think that Google doesn't access any deep web resources, as Google Book Search, Google Scholar, and Microsoft's Windows Live Academic “are examples where lines between the deep web and surface web are blurring” according to the Internet Tutorials resource on the Deep Web.

Yes, I think that the surface web is so important because many people do not understand the Deep web (myself included). Many people start and end with Google and that's it.

However, as an educator, if a student to leaves my classroom and thinks that Google is the only place to search, I believe that I will have done a disservice.

I'm sure that some advocates of free-everything will advocate that all deep web resources should “come out” to the surface, I believe that there will always be deep web resources and that an effective digital citizen will acknowledge the existence of multiple sources of information.

As much as I love Google, to depend entirely on Google is akin to our total dependence on Microsoft in the late 1980's and most of the 1990's. I believe that variety and diversity is an important part of the Internet.

I have as an objective of mine to integrate more deep web resources into my classroom and teaching.

Please share what you know.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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wiredinstructor August 31, 2007 - 8:13 pm

Vicki thank you for the kind words about the 21st Century Information Fluency Project. I’m an editor and content developer for the project and I really appreciate you point of view.

The deep web can be a wonderful place for kids doing research. There are so many finely crafted databases filled with credible sources.

Teachers planning units on digital storytelling or historical research project will benefit from working with the National Archives teaching with documents site: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/

This deep web archive of content is well worth exploring.

As you know we’re always creating Learning Games, lesson plans, and assessments to help everyone teach information fluency, so I hope teachers will visit our site too! ( http://21cif.imsa.edu )

Again, thanks for the fine work you do!

Dennis O’Connor (aka wiredinstructor)

Content Developer
21CIF Project

Patrick Higgins September 1, 2007 - 4:21 am


I have been keenly interested in this topic of deep web searching since I saw Eric Hoefler’s wiki on the the deep web.

Here is a link to a wiki I created for a professional development class I taught this summer. You might find it useful:


Tony September 1, 2007 - 7:31 pm


Recently, I read an article about Google Jockeying that Pat Sine linked to on her blog. This article addresses one of the same issues you raise in this post, namely that many students and adults limit their searches to one main search engine. This article talks about using a Google Jockey to model the benefits of varying our use of web resources when conducting searches. Reading your post about discovering and using the “deep web” made me think that as teachers we could use both tools to show our students the depth of information available to us via the Internet. People miss the richness of the web by limiting their searches to Google or Ask.com. Thanks for sharing your thinking on this issue and raising awareness about this “invisible” resource.

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