One of our priorities as teachers, educators and parents is to ensure that our students and kids use the Internet in appropriate, safe and secure ways. The best way to do it is through education and practice. Digital literacy and digital citizenship are two key theoretical concepts to start with. Understanding and teaching the principles of these concepts to students will definitely empower them with the required insight and know-how to help them navigate the web in a safer and effective way.
Besides being equipped with the required digital literacy skills, kids online safety can also be enhanced through curating for them websites and digital platforms that offer them kids friendly content. To this end, I compiled for you this collection featuring of some of the best search engines designed specifically for young learners.
Most of the popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing offer built-in safe search features that you can turn on from their settings. For instance, Google provides these guidelines to help you learn how to filter explicit search results using turn on safesearch setting. However, from my own experience with these features, I do not find them really effective. There is always an amount of undesirable content that slips through with search results.
Well, in fact there is no tool or software that is 100% effective and, as I repeatedly stated, when it comes to kids and young learners use of the Internet, teacher and parental supervision are indispensable.
That being said, I invite you to explore the list of kids safe search engines below and share with use your feedback. To help you make informed and educated decisions as to which of the featured search engines to use with your kids, I categorized these tools into those that run ads and those that are ads-free.
‘Kidtopia is a Google custom student safe search engine for preschool and elementary students, indexing only educator approved websites.’
‘KidsSearch.com is a Safe Search Engine for children. We use Google’s Safe Search technology and advanced filtering tools on web content. We offer kid friendly links through our directory, each site is peer reviewed for appropriate content, usefulness and fun.’
‘Teach the Children Well is a collection of links to sites carefully selected by a teacher for students as well as their parents and teachers. The site was designed for elementary grades but many of the sites will also be of interest to older students.’
‘Kiddle is a visual search engine for kids powered by Google, offering safe kids web, image, and video search. Results are vetted by editors.’
DuckDuckGo is not necessarily designed for kids but it does however offer features that allow users to search the net without compromising their private and personal information. DuckDuckGo does not store search history, doesn’t run ads, and does not track users.
GoGooligans is another kid search engine that provide a number of important features including: use Google index to retrieve results, apply different kinds of filtering features, excludes inappropriate sites and keywords, offers search in over 30 languages and many more.
‘KidRex is a fun and safe search for kids, by kids! KidRex searches emphasize kid-related webpages from across the entire web and are powered by Google Custom Search™ and use Google SafeSearch™ technology.’
[Source: This article was published in educatorstechnology.com ]