Resources for School Librarians - Index
Kid Safe Search Sites
Menu: Subject Indexes | Search Engines | Fun and Educational Sites | Web Safety and Media Reviews
- Great Sites for Kids
- Directory of web sites for students, parents, and teachers compiled by the Association for Library Service for Children. No ads.
- DK Findout
- Search site with good information and excellent illustrations. There are also videos and information galleries. From Dorling Kindersley. No ads.
- The Virtual Middle School Library
- Directory of sites for middle school students and their teachers and parents. No ads.
- An online almanac, encyclopedia, and dictionary. This site also has a daily almanac, breaking news, and fun stuff. Many ads.
- Online dictionary, encyclopedia and almanac. Also homework help and some fun and games links. From Information Please. Many ads.
- A rather limited number of sites, but the ones included are good ones. Ads.
- This search engine is good if you want to avoid pornography and advertisements.
- This search engine seems to be pornography free, but ads are on the top of the results page.
- Sweet Search
- This is a search engine which searches sites which have been approved by researchers. The results screen is rather cluttered, and it is very easy to get directed to Finding Dulcinea which is the parent of the Sweet Search site. The reading level of the articles retrieved was rather high. This site has Google ads.
Fun and Educational Sites
- Fun Brain
- Lots of fun (and educational) games for students in grades K - 8. A few ads.
- Enchanted Learning
- Education, crafts, and games for the K-6 set. I only found one ad per page.
- PBS Kids
- Fun for the preschool set. No ads.
- Pauly's Playhouse
- Fun games and activities for children ages 3 and up. No ads.
Child Safety on the Net and Media Reviews
- Online safety information for kids, teens, parents, educators, and law enforcement agencies.
- Stop Bullying.gov
- Information on cyberbullying from the US government.
- Helpful tips for young people from Nobullying.com.
- A Parent's Guide to Facebook
- A 32 page booklet to help you understand facebook, and to help you to teach your child to use it safely. 2012.
- Growing Wireless
- Many wireless networks provide means for parents to control their children's use. There is also quite a bit of information on how to teach children the safe use of wireless.
- Media Smarts
- An extensive site with information for children, parents and teachers. The information provided deals with all forms of the media. By the Canadian Centre for Digital and Media Literacy
- Get Safe Online
- Information about protecting your computer, your identity, and your business information while online.
- Stay Safe Online
- There is information here about child safety on the net, and there is also very important information about guarding your computer from viruses and hacker attacks. Try taking the self test to find out how well prepared your computer is.
- Kid's Online Safety
- Articles for both parents and kids. This site is by the Federal Trade Commission.
- An international group working to promote online safety. There is information here for young people, parents, and teachers.
- Common Sense Media
- Reviews of TV, web sites, books, and music. Also, this site has articles on media use and abuse.
- Entertainment Software Review Board
- Check here for ratings of game software.
Please address any comments, additions, or corrections to Linda Bertland, retired school librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Browsing safe content is the single most reason for calling up search engines made specifically for kids. A search page that appeals with its looks could be the second. Letting a kid having the run of the web using a search engine for kids helps to lessen the worry load on a parent’s mind.
Of course, there is no guarantee that every search will be kid-safe, but there is a higher probability with the content indexed by these niche search engines for kids. You can tweak the search engine settings which every search tool worth its name has. On the other hand you can use these ten ready-made search resources.
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.
For instance, drag the “˜Word’ piece for entering the keyword, and then modify it by dragging the other pieces like “˜And’, “˜Or’, “˜Not’ etc to combine it with other keywords.
Quintura for Kids
Quintura for Kids is powered by Yahoo. It gives a more visual way of searching using a keyword cloud. You start off your search with a keyword in the text box and then modify it with any of the keywords in the cloud. Quintura displays five results per page. You may miss it, but clicking on the surrounding icons takes you to the five preset search categories – Music, History, Animals, Sports and recreation, and Games.
KidRex is a custom Google search engine for kids. The interface is just like a child’s crayon drawing (the dinosaur stands guard). It uses SafeSearch and tries to keep all the results as antiseptic as possible.
KidRex also has its own database of inappropriate websites and keywords which further help to keep the results clean.
Ask Kids is a search engine for kids from Ask.com’s pool of web resources. The search page resembles a school note book. Apart from the search box, five preset search categories – Schoolhouse, Movies, Games, Videos and Images, help out the kiddies research all kinds of stuff.
Kids can jump from the search results to images, narrow or expand the search, find related names and other information. It borrows the features from Ask.com and its regular search, but keeps it simple for kids.
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. KidsClick is owned and run by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University. As the web resource links to a comprehensive collection of good, clean sites, the KidsClick interface is without any ads.
Yahoo Kids is the doorway to Yahoo’s directory of websites and URLs exclusively for kids. The homepage is colorful, engaging, and full of cool stuff to keep your child engaged. So much so, that it’s quite easy to miss out the search box at the top corner. Search results are collated under three sections – Results in Yahoo! Kids, Results in the Yahoo! Kids Directory, and Results on the Web.
Study Search is a customized Google search engine (with Google SafeSearch) for Australian schools. That shouldn’t stop the rest of the world using it. The search taps into the database of relevant sites created for primary and secondary Australian schools. The database of worldwide links has been built up by Australian teachers, librarians and site volunteers.
SquirrelNet is a kids only search engine that has Google SafeSearch activated. From the homepage itself, you can also access the Google directory of websites relevant for children.
Aga-Kids is a visual search engine for kids and one of the more colorful ones you will see. You can choose between a visual search and a text search. The search results come up as interactive and animated thumbnails.
The search results may be limited because the search engine searches only websites that are made for children.
Dib Dab Doo and Dilly Too
If any name shouts out that it’s a search engine for kids, then this is it. The search engine is again based on Google Custom Search and it tries to keep the content as children friendly as possible.
Custom search helps to keep out a lot of unsavory links, but it is definitely not foolproof. Most of the search engines for kids also display ads with some undesirable ones sneaking in. Parental control software in combination with these search engines can help to keep children shielded from the bad side of the web. It is a tough battle but parents can worry a little less. These ten search engines for kids are just the search tools for some unattended browsing around an unsafe web.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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