It's no secret that there are many search sites to utilize when researching a topic. Finding the right one to meet your needs, however, is often a challenge. Students may encounter problems when searching because their spelling is incorrect or the information is above their reading level. Here are some of my favorite sites for helping students find pertinent, accurate, and safe information.
The Voice Search tool from Google is an excellent feature to utilize in the classroom. This add-on enables students to search by speaking, which is a great support for ELL, special needs students, and struggling spellers. For example, just click on the microphone and say "puppies" to search for puppies. If you specifically want pictures of Abraham Lincoln, say "Google images Abraham Lincoln." Want to learn more about World War I? Say "Wikipedia World War One." For instructions on how to add Google Voice to your computer, click here. (NOTE: Use Google Chrome as your browser for this feature to work best.)
Another invaluable tip from Google is the ability to adjust the reading level when searching a desired topic. The extra 30 seconds required for refining your search can greatly improve the value of the content.
Thanks to KidRex, powered by Google, there is now a kid-friendly, safe search engine made specifically for children. Parents and teachers are encouraged to notify KidRex if there is a website that should be removed or monitored. Add the KidRex widget to your classroom website or blog for students to access easily.
Highly recommended by teachers and professors, the Gooru search engine provides millions of videos, interactive displays, digital textbooks, quizzes, and more on a variety of topics. Click here to learn how to explore the world of Gooru.
Oolone is a search engine that displays results in a visual format. Rather than getting a list of results with just links and brief summaries, Oolone gives you the entire webpage to preview before you click through. Watch this demonstration for a peek at how Oolone operates.