Custom Google Search Engine

Yesterday, during our last technology professional development workshop of the year, I introduced a group of our elementary school faculty to the concept of a custom Google Search Engine. Everyone present was invited to be a collaborator and created (if they did not have one) or signed into their google account. I created a step-by-step tutorial for adding a URL to our custom search engine. We are also encouraging faculty to start adding sites through out the summer months, when planning for next school year.

Dear Faculty,

In an elementary school setting we are hesitant to go to a search engine, like Google or Yahoo, and simply type in a keyword or phrase in front of our class. You will receive millions of search results. It is a lottery to click on a link. You cannot be assured that the website you are about to display will be age- appropriate in text, graphics, videos, advertisement and content for your students. We also worry about our students when they are at home and needing research material for projects and homework assignments.

You are invited to collaborate in growing our very own San Jose Episcopal Day School Google SEARCH ENGINE. This search engine will be accessible for students by going to http://www….
Students will be typing in their search keywords and phrases and will receive ONLY results from websites that have been added by collaborators of the our faculty . By adding relevant and pre-selected websites to our custom search engine, you are aiding your students to focus on content for their research, rather than quantity of information. They will become more efficient web searchers in a safe environment.

Please follow the steps to add a URL (website address, that starts with http://) to our custom search engine.

1- Go to and click on sign in

2- Type in your e-mail and password, then click “sign in”.

3- After you signed in, click on “more”

4- Then click on “even more”

5- Click on “Custom Search”

6- Click on “Manage your existing search engines

7- Click on “Control Panel”

8- Click on “Include sites”

9- Open up a new tab or window in your Internet browser.
Go to the website you would like to add to SJEDS Custom Search Engine. Highlight the URL (http://www …) and right click on the URL to then copy the address. You can also use CTRL-C on your keyboard to copy after the URL is highlighted. Go back to the search engine and right click into the text box, then choose paste. You can also use CTRL-V on your keyboard to paste the URL after you clicked in the text box. After the URL is visible in the text box click on the “save” button.

10- Congratulations! You just added a valuable site to our search engine!

Remember that this search engine will be only as useful as the sites that are contributed by the faculty. If you are planning for your students to research a certain topic or subject and want to give them a more directed research focus, be sure to add YOUR pre-selected sites to our search engine.

Added thought:

If you want to make adding a URL to your Google Search Engine even easier, you can add a Google Marker button to your FireFox or Internet Explorer toolbar. That will automatically launch a annotation window. You must be logged into your google account though.  I might install this on all our teachers’ computers.