Content on the internet can change rapidly, with new sites created, and existing sites rebranded, reorganized, changed, or even closed without warning. Because of this, when searching for resources online it is best not to rely on a set list of links. However diligently these lists are maintained, there will inevitably be useful content not included, and over time, the content will likely become outdated.
This section of the nzmaths site provides a collection of links to sites that are particularly useful, as well as guidance for finding further material online. The links are grouped into four categories:
When looking for material on the internet the best approach is to use a ‘search engine’. The most popular search engine is Google, with Yahoo Search, Bing, and Ask.com the most commonly used alternatives. In all of these search engines you can enter a word, phrase or collection of keywords, and you will be provided with a list of sites matching your search criteria.
There are many ways to maximise the effectiveness of your searches
Use specific terms (read more)
The more accurate and specific the language you use in your search, the more useful the results are likely to be. For example, if you search for maths resources, you will find a very broad selection of sites with resources. If you search for measurement lesson plans, you will find a much more narrowly focussed selection of sites.
Add more terms to refine your search (read more)
There are so many sites on the internet that virtually any search will return more results than you want. Adding further search terms will reduce the number of results. For example, if you search for maths activities you will find a very large number of results. This could be reduced by making the search interactive maths activities or even interactive maths activities measurement.
Use quotation marks to search for specific phrases (read more)
If you enter a collection of words, the search will look for any pages that include those words, in any order, and anywhere on the page. If you enclose a phrase in quotation marks, the search will look for the words in that specific order. For example if you search for learning progression the search will find any pages that contain the word learning and the word progression, while if you search for “learning progression” it will only return pages that contain that exact phrase.
Don’t use punctuation, capitalisation or common words (read more)
The majority of search engines disregard punctuation and capital letters, and also ignore common words such as the, in, of etc.
Customise your search (read more)
There are a number of ways that you can further customise your search to target specific pages.
- Use a minus sign (-) to indicate words that you don't want to appear on the pages you find. For example if you are interested in information about numeracy overseas, searching numeracy will find a lot of links from within New Zealand, while searching numeracy -nz will exclude most of the New Zealand results, as these are likely to contain nz either within the text of the page or in the url.
- Use OR between words to indicate that one or the other of two words is acceptable. For example searching numeracy maths activities requires that all three words appear on the page, while searching for numeracy OR maths activities will find pages that contain the word activities and either numeracy or maths.
- If you only want results from a specific website you can restrict your results by including, for example site:www.nzmaths.co.nz in the search. Searching numeracy project will find all pages with numeracy and project, while searching site:www.nzmaths.co.nz numeracy project will only find pages on nzmaths with numeracy and project. Many sites, including nzmaths, have their own search tools that you can also use.