Internet Search Engines
In our text Update Your Curriculum, Chapter 12 outlines a new art unit where students use Pinterest to upload their projects, write critiques over others' projects, and then post them also to Pinterest. Pinterest is know for its online pin boards, where the user can save pictures, webpages, videos, etc, digitally. This project is a fun way to upgrade a unit to include technology in a useful and meaningful way.
In this unit, high school students used Pinterest as its intended use as an online bulletin board. I also like to use Pinterest as a search engine while looking for new ideas. This made me think about younger kids doing research on the internet and keeping their safety in the forefront. I did a search to find out the best kid friendly search engines on the web. I found an article entitled, "Worried about students searching the web safely? 8 safe search engines for kids," written by Kate Smitty. In it, the author found some great resources for kids to have the ability to complete their work online in a safe environment. Here are a few examples:
Click on the above button and it will take you to KidRex, a search engine powered by Google Custom Search. It provides safe, kid friendly pages for a students' search.
Click on the above button and it will take you to KidsClick. According to Smitty: "KidsClick, as it claims, is not an Internet filter but is a directory of over six hundred sources of strong subjects for kids. The information can be used for school work and learning. There are absolutely no ads in the search engine as it is a comprehensive collection of clean sites and kid-friendly interface."
Even though I teach Kindergarten and these research projects are on a higher level than most of my students, there will always be a student that is ready for that level of assignment. Now, I know of some safe places on the internet where I can comfortably send my students to look for new information. Even when we do research as a class on the whiteboard, now I know that there are sites I can use and it will not bring up questionable material on the board. These web tools go along with my philosophy of education, where I believe it is the teachers job to not only teach the knowledge, but how to find the knowledge.