How Can You Teach Contextual Intelligence to a 12-year-old?

Jun 02, 2016

Children today have grown up with the Internet being an integral part of their lives. Babies use tablets to swipe through games and interactive programs. Toddlers can navigate apps on a smartphone.

By the time children hit middle school, technology is a natural part of their everyday life, both in school and at home. And of course, they grasp on technological concepts faster than their parents.

How do you explain a concept such as Contextual Search to a 12-year-old child? By using the familiar to explain the abstract.

Let's take an imaginary look at how to describe Contextual Search to a 7th-grade classroom


"Good morning students! Today we're going to pick up where we left off yesterday, on ways to search using computer programs. We learned that there are many different ways. We use a search function to find a word or a phrase. We can search in a spreadsheet program for a number or any other entries we have made. We also search the web using search engines to find websites, images, news articles, people by using keywords.

"Now, let's take a step back and look at a different type of search, called Contextual Search. You might think of this as an intelligent search, because it differs from basic search in one major way. Contextual Search is all about getting the most precise and relevant results when searching.

Contextual Search is Intelligent

"Let's imagine you're going to spend some birthday money on completing your Pokémon card collection. You could Google Pokémon, right? But would that really help? No, it wouldn't. It would just give you pages and pages of results about Pokémon.

What if you could focus your search on Pokémon cards that you need and are for sale near you? How would you do that?

"Sure, you can search for each card individually, but you'd still get millions of results. ... Put all the cards you need in the search bar? Well, that might work, but would you find the ones that are for sale? How about those for sale near you?

"Now, imagine your search finds a massive database that has thousands of Pokémon cards listed, along with prices and where they are on sale. Pretty cool, right? This result is better, for sure, but you'd still need to figure out a way to find that information and grab it, right? What if you also found a word processing document that has cards, prices and locations listed, but not written in a table format, rather in long paragraphs that also detail how the writer feels about the Pokémon character? That's tough, isn't it!

Contextual Search Gets to the Meaning of the Query and Gets Only Relevant Results

"Contextual Search sets certain guidelines by generating the meaning of your query just the way you and I do, in a human-like manner. It searches through all kinds of data, including web pages, spreadsheets, databases, social sites, etc. and even those documents with lots of descriptive stuff you don't need. Because of these capabilities, it gives the most exact and sharper results.

Contextual Search pulls out the important stuff you want and lets the search tool hone in on just the results that are relevant to you by contextualizing, by giving it the meaning of the search term as you meant in your mind! It helps save your time by delivering just the results you need to complete your collection. What's even cooler is that some Contextual Search programs can easily search both what's called Structured Data, like what's found in tables with rows and columns, and what's called Unstructured Data, such as in a narrative document.

"Can you see know how Contextual Search will let you find what you need faster? Great! There's the bell. Class dismissed."