New search engines

I’ve mentioned it before on more that one occasion, but it’s worth saying again. Phil Bradley writes an informative blog and is a valuable source of information for Teacher- Librarians. He created the above  picture for a presentation he gave and made it Creative Commons for others to use. Great sharing Phil – I love the picture as it encompasses the newer search engines now available. I (and I’d have to say the majority of students at my school) continue to default to Google as do the vast majority of the population. I was pleased to hear a staff member say today that she gets her students to use Mooter after I introduced it to her last year. She thinks the students can make greater sense of the results with the clustering technology it employs.

I’ve read about a couple of new search engines via my google reader that may be useful. Phil highlighted Green Maven – the green search engine for people interested in looking for websites focusing on green issues – sustainability and the like. I searched for light globes and my return focused on the energy efficient kind. Phil’s take on it was this;

It works well if what you want is in that subject area – if you do rather more general searches the results start to get a little bit flaky.  

Jane Hart highlighted another quirky offering aimed at the K-12 audience. It’s called Boolify and uses a drop and drag of pieces that resemble a jigsaw to teach kids the importance of boolean logic in their searches. I can see the appeal for younger kids but think secondary students would get frustrated with the time it takes to formulate a search. It could be good to use when teaching kids explicitly about boolean operators however, particularly in the junior end of secondary schools. It’s worth having a bit of a play with. It’s creator, Dave Crusoe, has said this about it;

“So, we’ve worked with a team of librarians and others to develop something called Boolify, a graphical search tool meant for K12 use.   It pulls results from Google’s SafeSearch (Strict), so it’s reasonably classroom-safe, and we get the best of both worlds: a great way to understand and build searches, as well as great results provided by Google.”

2 Replies to “New search engines”

  1. Dear Jenny,
    you’ll be pleased to know that last night during one of my P/T interviews I told a student and parent (new to TC this year from Mt. Eliza sec.) about and they were really keen to go home and try it. I said that I might not have explained it properly (this was about my 16th interview!)but the dad said it all made sense and he would look it up at home. I started tagging today! I have told Alice and Laura too. One little PD session like that can be quite liberating for an old girl like me!
    Thank you very much for taking the time to teach me,

  2. Love that you let me know this Gina. It means a lot to me to have you convey your thanks this way. It was my pleasure – glad to be of help.

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