Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cool New Website

A couple of blogs ago I mentioned how disappointed I was with Yahooligans, especially at how distracting their school side of things have gotten. Ben Rimes from The Tech Savvy Educator agrees with me and today shared another kid friendly search engine!
It's called Quintura for Kids. Basically, a student clicks on a topic and it brings up a nice bubble of other subtopics. And from there it keeps narrowing your search. Each time you narrow your search, you do get results. You can even type in a search word and then continue to narrow your result. I've included a screenshot of the search I did on citizenship. It might be a little confusing for some of your students, but it's not bad.
I still like netTrekker though for educational purposes. The searching is a little bit easier to follow and does not have the ads (neither does Quintura). Plus, it can put the minds at ease for all the technicians and district people who are concerned about what type of sites a student will find when searching.

Now there is a Quintura for adults as well.I checked it out. The mind mapping clusters made me feel at home with Inspiration, but there were times I also got a bit of an edgy feel. Now I know how Scott Kinney felt whenever he looked at my Inspiration documents! It was just a bit too busy, even for me! But I did find some great sites and will use it again.

I also checked out a site that Steve Dembo shared with us on one of his blogs. It's called kartOO. That one wasn't as easy to use as Google either. Something about it just didn't fit. I might use it once in awhile for topics I'm having a problem with, but hmmmm--- not so sure. I did like being able to narrow my search down by clicking on the topics, and the little cartoony looking characters made it more pleasant to wait. I just don't think it's going to be for me.


Anonymous said...

Yet another Dembo site that I'm not following, and here I was thinking that I was staying on top of all his blogs :)

Oh well, great info on the KartOO site, I'll have to check it out.

I agree with you on the educational uses of Net Trekker, however, I completely disagree with the entire "pay for use" search engines. I think it's much more appropriate to teach learners how to use search engines effectively, and responsibily, rather than rely on what some censor has deemed kid-friendly. Not that I don't enjoy some censorship, it can be a great thing, but there are so many more fantastic resources found via real search engines, that search services like Net Trekker leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

I agree with teaching students the responsible way of searching -but I have also seen a lot of teachers refuse to use the Internet because of how searches can bring up irrelevant topics and students are more likely to click on those irrelevant topics when they are with those type of teachers. (If a student respects the teacher - I find they follow the rules a bit more.) Therefore, netTrekker is a blessing.

Now if you have a tech savvy school, one that has tech leaders for teachers who are willing to learn new things, use them in the classroom, and the teachers stay on the up and up so the students have to as well, then you of course don't need the netTrekker product. You can save your money for other cool things.

Larry Ferlazzo said...

You might want to check out these search engines that my English Language Learner students use: