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Last Updated: 10/31/2017
 

 Article of Interest - Homework

Kids learn basics of research on the Web
by Jinny Gudmundsen, Detroit News

 

Searching the Web
Most kids who use the Internet are wizards at e-mail and instant messaging, but their cockiness wanes when faced with doing Internet research. Many aren't sure where to begin. Here's a primer on how to start Internet research.


Searching with young children
When searching with young children, start with a kid-friendly search engine. A search engine is an Internet tool that scans Web sites to find specific information. When you type in a query, the search engine is able to glean relevant sites and present them to the youngster. Kid-friendly search engines are designed to shield children from inappropriate material and present sites that are easily understood by children. These are some of the best:
 

Ask Jeeves for Kids
www.ajkids.com
This search engine uses "natural language" so kids can type their queries in language typical of the way they speak. For example, a child can ask "How does a microwave oven work?" and the search engine will return a page from www.howthingswork.com that answers the question.
 

Yahooligans!
www.yahooligans.com
This search engine is embedded in a site that also serves as a portal to many other kid-friendly sites and games.

 

Ithaki for Kids
www.ithaki.net/kids
This is a metasearch engine because it taps into several search engines simultaneously to return findings. By using Ithaki for Kids, kids will be searching seven kid-friendly sites or search engines including Yahooligans! and Fact Monster ( www.factmonster.com ).

 

Ivy's Search Engine Resources for Kids
www.ivyjoy.com/rayne/kidssearch.html
At this site, children can type a search request to eight different kid-friendly search engines without leaving the site. This site also has links to numerous other kid search sites and Web guides for kids that were researched by a grandfather for his granddaughter.

 

Seasoned Searchers
As children get older and are able to comprehend more sophisticated issues, their research needs can outgrow the returns of a kid-friendly search engine. When this happens, try Google ( www.google.com ), an excellent general search engine. Google consistently ferrets out relevant sites and users aren't barraged with an advertising avalanche.


When the research topic is more specialized, head to NoodleTools ( www.noodletools.com ). This site offers a set of free research tools to help kids choose the best research strategy. By clicking on the "NoodleQuest" tool, kids will be asked seven questions about their research. After checking boxes indicating whether they are kids and telling about the types of media they are seeking and the timeliness of the information needed, the tool returns a recommended research strategy with links.
 

NoodleTools also offers the "Choose a Search Engine" tool that provides a chart showing different ways to approach information.
 

Encyclopedia Research
The Columbia Encyclopedia is free at Encyclopedia.com ( www.encyclopedia.com ).

 

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