Monday, August 02, 2010

A Better Search - Beyond Google

What are the best tools for students' Internet searches? We know our students are comfortable with technology; unfortunately, that doesn't always translate into knowing what is best for their learning and productivity. For example, when our students search Google, they often indiscriminately choose one of the first two or three sites when looking for information.

Better search engines exist for academic use.

Prolific teacher/blogger Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers highlights seven search engines created for student use. Check out his blog post for descriptions of each search engine.
  1. Sweet Search - a search engine for students where "every web site has been evaluated by our research experts"
  2. Kid Rex - "Safe search by kids, for kids!" (what's not to love about a site which includes a T-Rex on it's home page?)
  3. Ref Seek
  4. Fam Hoo - calls itself the "family friendly" search engine
  5. Ask Kids
  6. Wolfram Alpha - the "computational, knowledge engine"
  7. Google Scholar
Add each search engine to the class Diigo or Delicious account so that your students can access these sites from any computer, anywhere. Remember to tag it and share the tag during the first week of school.

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