Friday, September 3, 2010

Children and Search Engines

In a world where laptops, social networking, texting, and phones with Internet access are the norm, parents may find themselves in the dark when it comes to technology and their children’s technology use. Gone are the days where the majority of households have a large collection of encyclopedias organized by letters cramming their bookshelves. Now you can sit at a computer, type in what you need, and a world of information is literally at your fingertips.

Although there are obvious dangers when allowing kids to access the web without proper monitoring, there are tremendous advantages as well. For this blog, we’ll focus on the Internet as a whole, and discuss safe search engines specifically for students.

First and foremost, you want to make sure your children are using trustworthy and accurate resources. Common sites like Google and have a huge amount of information. However you need to be careful what you click on. Make sure to read the website addresses before going to them. Sites like have a lot of material, however the information isn’t verified. Anyone can post on a particular topic.

There are many websites for children. Number 36 will help you search by topic. Number 40 has history search engines, science engines, authors and biographies, and so much more. allows you to type in any question. is a great tool for searching by category, like people or science. You can also use the Internet Public Library for specific subject and reference needs.

When you are searching, make sure to type in keywords. If you’re not using a site where you can enter in the full question, you’ll need to narrow down the words you use. If you want the engine to look for a particular phrase, put it in quotations. For example: “civil war battlefields” instead of civil war or “middle school math” instead of just math. Most search engines have an advanced link button, where you can limit your topics even further.

Finally, teach your students the importance of acknowledging the sources they’ve used. The Internet offers a mountain of information, but remember the material has been written by someone else. Happy searching!

No comments:

Post a Comment