Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

How to Google Like a Pro

The Chat, Student Content, EdTechBrandi Bleak

Today on The Chat, I discussed a few features of the popular search engine many people aren't aware of.  Did you know that you could build with Legos right from your Chrome or Firefox browser?

Here's a list of the other tips I suggest:


Type in "set a timer for [x] minutes" and then get to work. I use this often to limit my social media time or to really focus on a task without interruptions. There's something about a countdown that makes you want to work faster! I actually set a 15 minute timer to finish this blog post - so, let's see how it works. You can also make this full screen, which could be useful for timing a speech, for example. It works in reverse if you prefer the stopwatch option.


What I like about the ability to search right from Google is that it uses your location for quicker search and suggests dates; for example, an upcoming Thursday to Sunday trip.  Now, just select where you would like to travel and you're all set. The calendar shows price differences on varying days if your plans are flexible, or you can view a map of your route which shows prices for flying into alternative cities for comparison. I didn't feel like there were as many options available as some other search sites, but they did offer the same low prices I was able to find on my usual sites. 


From equations to conversions, it's there when you simply don't want to use your seventh grade math skills. When cooking, try using Google to help by typing "convert ten ounces to cups." When shopping for the best deal try, "What is 15% of $67?" It works at a restaurant too, when you may not know the perfect amount to tip. "What's 20% of $83?"


  • Be specific. Use keywords strategically and on purpose. You can leave out extra words to complete the sentence.
  • Google can answer many questions. Try searching nutrition facts like, "How many calories are in a Jimmy Johns turkey sub?" or "How long does it take to get to Dayton, Ohio?" The answers are 514 calories and 13 hours and 31 minutes, respectively.
  • Use quotation marks to search exact phrases. Otherwise, it will search those keywords, in any order with an article. Sometimes that matters!
  • If you keep getting searches that include a word you do not want to be a part of the search, use the minus symbol. Add it before any words you don't want to appear in your search. 
  • Use .. to search a date range. Add two periods between a date range to only search within those dates. 

And finally...


You can do practically anything on your computer, so why not build something with virtual Legos? This works with Chrome & Firefox browsers and is actually pretty fun! You can change the colors of the Lego bricks or choose from extras like doors or windows to add to your creation. Visit the site here to build!