Ask Kids: the Search Engine for Any Classroom

Think about this. How many times have you went to the net to search for something? How many times have you been totally confused by the thousands of results you received? Ever noticed that most of the results have absolutely nothing to do with what you searched for?

Now think about our kids? They go to the net to find something for a research paper and get results that are above their heads. Now there's a search engine that wants to change this, and it's just for kids.

Ask Kids is the kid friendly, kid safe version of the popular search engine The first thing that new visitors to Ask Kids will notice is the notebook paper theme and five search categories. Then visitors will notice the drawing tools in the lower right hand corner of the home page. The drawing tools will be totally useless for blind students using screen readers, but may be fun for your low vision students who want to customize the Ask Kids home page. Clearing your browser cookies will reset the home page. On the other hand, the five search categories are very useful and easy to navigate.

Ask Kids is divided into five categories of which one is a general search option. The five categories are School House, movies, games, images, and video. The School House category provides students with suggested topics and links to resources for those topics. The School House also serves as a general search tool. In the other search categories Ask Kids makes suggestions for search refinement. A great aspect of the search results that Ask Kids provides is the option to refine searches based on a student's age.

Ask Kids is a great search tool for elementary school and middle school students. The suggested search refinements are a great model for teaching students how to alter their Internet search terms to find the information for which they are looking. The "filter by age" option is useful for parents trying to help their child find information appropriate for their grade level. The only negative thing I see about the site is that the graphics on the home page are not labeled correctly, so screen readers can't tell the student what section they would be in if they clicked that link. I have sent feedback to the site and hopefully they will fix this issue.

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