A new site that I think addresses some of the issues that people have with boolean searches:
The developers of Boolify have come up with an extremely useful tool to assist people to learn how to create boolean searches and then graphically allowing the search strings to be changed with the results appearing as if by magic.
From their site:
“Dede (2000) astutely remarked that “children must learn how to sift vast quantities of information through their fingertips” and “thrive on chaos”. In our lifetimes, the quantity of information available for sifting-through has increased exponentially. Yet, the tools for “teaching how to sift” have not maintained pace with the need for sifting.
With this challenge in mind, the Boolify Project offers a piece of software that helps model Boolean operators. Its primary audience is Elementary and Middle School children, but it may find relevance with others. Ultimately, its goal is to increase learners’ ability to perform effective web searches. Just how will it accomplish this?
It is hypothesized that visual cues Boolify provides will help learners build a mental model of the search that they are performing. A mental model is an internal visualization that can be used to guide practice and, in the case of Boolify, the software helps make explicit and graphical the formation of their search.
Of course, the mental model is visualized as puzzle pieces that fit together and provide real-time feedback to the learner about the efficacy of the search.
Dede, C. (2000, March). Emerging influences of information technology on school curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 32(2) 281-303.”