Search Engines for Kids
It’s interesting to observe how folks find information using web browsers. I’ve been using browsers since there were roughly 1,000 sites on the World Wide Web. In those days, one created a homepage with the sites one normally would go to (which morphed into bookmarks or favorites), saving search engines for only finding information that you don’t have some idea where to find it.
However, as search engines became faster, more powerful, with better prioritization of results and more comprehensive portals, people started using the search engine for one’s primary portal for all accesses, including access to normally accessed sites.
For children, the problem with this approach is that Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines do not discriminate as to who is looking. This means that the searcher could easily end up in the Net cesspool rather than the Net kiddie pool. On the less dire level, the shear volume of results can be daunting to anyone, but especially kids. Also, kids have specific needs and desires from school research to game information.
The folks at Bing have created a Editor’s Choice page detailing a set of various search engines specifically aimed at kids. What I like is that each of these sites offer a different take on what a parent might require, including:
- A Google-like offering like http://www.yippy.com/.
- A librarian refereed offering like http://www.kidsclick.org/.
- A parent referred offering like http://www.dibdabdoo.com/
- A really cool (at least to me) rethinking of the search engine interface like http://boolify.org/. It teaches and leverages boolean concepts.
- A kid enticing interface like http://www.kidrex.org/
Some sites are focused on school research, some offer extensive categorization and many aggregate the results of multiple search engines, filtering out non-kid friendly entries and prioritizing with a kid in mind.
Also, there is a series of links to further search capabilities for specific education disciplines and topics. I’d suggest making either the Bing Editor’s Choice page your child’s home page or one of the more general kid’s search engines.
- Posted in: Family Computing