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.”