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Search Engines for Students

Page history last edited by Cissy Lujan-Pincomb 9 years ago


SEARCH ENGINES FOR STUDENTS 

 

 

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SweetSearch is A Search Engine for Students. It searches only credible Web sites approved by Internet research experts.


 

Google Safesearch for Kids

 

Kidzsearch for kids


 

 

KidRex


 

 


Search Tools for Students 

 

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Twurdy uses text analysis software to "read" each

page before it is displayed in the results. Then Twurdy gives each page a readability level. Twurdy then shows the readability level of the page along with a color coded system to help users determine how easy the page will be to understand.

 

Boolify

 

Kids are not supposed to understand the use of Boolean operators in search. Boolify makes it easier by providing the operators as colorful jigsaw pieces. All they need to do is drag them to center board and construct the search.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Quintura for Kids

 

Quintura for Kids is powered

by Yahoo.It gives a more visual

way of searching using a

keyword cloud. 

 

Ask Kids

 

Ask Kids is a search engine for kids

from Ask.com’s pool of web resources.

It borrows the features from Ask.com

and its regular search, but keeps it simple for kids

KidsClick

 

KidsClick makes it clear in its About page that it is not an internet filter. It is a directory

of good resources (a 600+ strong subject list) which kids can use for information or schoolwork. 

 

 

Yahoo Kids

 

Yahoo Kids is the doorway to Yahoo’s directory of websites and URLs exclusively for kids.


Aga-Kids

Aga-Kids is a visual search engine for kids. You can choose between a visual search and a text search. 

The search results may be limited because the search engine searches only websites that are made for children.

 


Dib Dab Doo and Dilly Too

The search engine is again based on Google Custom Search and it tries to keep the content as children friendly as possible.

USEFUL LINKS FOR RESEARCHERS

 

Here are some links that offer some resources for teachers trying to teach students the digital literacies involved with searching.

 

  • Web Search Strategies in Plain English

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    
  • SortFix is the best way to search the Web, makes Google and Yahoo search easy and fun and also improves the results.

 


HOW TO MAKE STUDENTS BETTER RESEARCHERS 

 

In the past, we spent a lot of time in schools teaching kids how to do library research, and how to use a variety reference materials like dictionaries, encyclopedias, microfiche, card catalogs, public records, anthologies, and other sources too numerous to recall. Many of these forms of reference are no longer used, as they (or incarnations much like them) are all now available to us on the internet.

 

However, when we made this switch to internet-based resources, we somehow left a gap in education and made no real focus on teaching kids how to find valid, credible, useful resources online. The result is our frequent frustration with a generation of kids who will still type in the word “Egypt” and grab the first search result that pops up on Google when studying anything remotely related to the topic.

 

As they get older, kids often employ the tactic of typing a question into the search bar – “How do I find out about mummies in Egypt?” This actually gives Google a little more to work with – namely the word “mummies”, but this additional boost is thwarted because the search is in the form of a question. Top results yield links to Answers.com, YahooAnswers, and anyone can post an answer on these sites. 

 

The students must learn the digital literacy skill of proper searching. It’s never too early for them to learn. Are they old enough to learn to use a dictionary or an encyclopedia? That’s the time! Here are the levels that need to be taught:

 

1. It begins as a critical thinking and language skill – narrowing their focus to a specific idea, and then selecting the few key terms and some alternatives that will help them.

 

2. Utilizing the various “search help” tools that many search engines offer – Google offers the ability for kids to narrow the search by time, type (images, news, dictionary, reading level), and also offers a nice advanced search tool. Some simple Boolean tools, such as +, “and”, and – are still extremely useful to know.

 

3. Critically sorting through the results – is the top result always the best? Often the answer is no. Google sorts its results based on the amount of hits a URL gets and sorts that way. It’s not so much academic as it is a popularity contest. Remember, Google can’t think (yet), so it’s still up to us to make the determination about what will be useful. Taking some time to teach kids about credible resources, scholastic research-based resources, and most importantly valid resources, is a worthwhile and necessary exercise. 

 

4. Sometimes, supply your kids with the internet resources you want them to use. If your focus is on finding the information within a given resource, maybe it’s not necessary to always pile on the extra step of searching for the resource – especially if this is still a skill they struggle with. You can go old school and give the students the links you want them to use. Either way, this practice actually sets a bar for students – they become more accustomed to the type, format, and quality of resource that is valid for academic research. Obviously, they need to learn and use search skills, but this “calibration” every once in awhile is actually a good thing for setting expectations.

by Tracie Weisz


 

 

 

 

 

 

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