"Search Engines for Students" text over a background with soundwaves and Shanna Martin's face. it also has the Tech Tools for Teachers logo and the words "Episode 166"

Search Engines for Students

The internet can be a wild place, but with the right tools, our students can safely explore their interests and find reliable information. Let’s highlight some kid-friendly search engines that encourage curiosity without unwanted content.

Kiddle

First up is Kiddle.co, a visual search engine made just for kids! It looks and feels like Google, but only displays family-friendly results. One of the coolest features of Kiddle is the integrated encyclopedia with quick facts on millions of topics. Students can easily find summaries, definitions, and details to get them started. The site also has a Spanish language option for bilingual accessibility. Learning made easy!

Kidtopia

For a more immersive experience, check out Kidtopia.info. This colorful site is perfect for research and inquiry projects. It’s easy to navigate with big images and categories to guide students’ discoveries. You can search by topic or choose one of their categories to get you started. The content topics also link to external kid friendly sites with more information. The visuals are very helpful for younger students.

SweetSearch

For students that are ready to dive deeper, SweetSearch is a top choice for older students. With options to focus on news, history, or science, it brings up credible websites without the spam. Teachers will want to preview any search, but it’s a super tool to have in your back pocket.

The internet can be an amazing place to spark curiosity and learn new things. With sites like these, students can safely explore subjects they’re passionate about. Let their search for knowledge begin!

TECH MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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Shanna Martin 0:19
Thanks for listening to the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast, where each week we talk about a free piece of technology that you can use in your classroom. I’m your host, Shanna Martin. I’m a middle school teacher Technology and Instructional Coach for my district.

Fuzz Martin 0:32
And I’m her producer and husband, Fuzz Martin. And hey, Shanna, how do you learn more about Turkeys on Thanksgiving? Google, Google Google. I learned about that at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store line. They had grocery store TV, and that joke was on the screen. And I thought you know what? We’re talking about search stuff today. And I

Fuzz Martin 1:01
I’m gonna use that. Why lean on that? It’s amazing. Yeah.

Fuzz Martin 1:06
Thanks to the Piggly Wiggly and Campbellsport Wisconsin.

Shanna Martin 1:11
I don’t know if anyone understands. Piggly Wiggly is a grocery store. And it is probably

Fuzz Martin 1:16
the most Midwest thing you could ever imagine. So it

Shanna Martin 1:20
is it’s a fabulous grocery store. It is they’re all locally owned. And they’re wonderful. And you can buy T shirts with pigs on the front

Fuzz Martin 1:26
and a pig butt on the back with a little curly tail. So all fun. All right.

Shanna Martin 1:33
Well, here we are, we are using search engines today are kind of learning about search engine, say season six, Episode 166. We have some fun and exciting tools for you today, we are talking about searching made easy. I have found. I don’t know that recently. But over the last, I don’t know, we’ll say like six months or so. More and more teachers are asking for ways that their students can research independently with inquiry projects and making sure that students have a choice that they want to build in these things. And I know last season or a few episodes back, we talked about encyclopedias for kids. And so this is another section of sites that will be helpful for students to be searching independently. And offering like tools for kids to use while doing inquiry are different search and research projects and things like that. So I was really excited because I’ve used some of these before, but I’ve never talked about them on the podcast, and I thought you know what? We should because I was sharing them with some teachers, just the last week. Great. So so our first site is called Kiddle K I D D L E

Fuzz Martin 2:49
Are you going to give us little bits about kettle.

Shanna Martin 2:54
So, right, so kettle K I D D L e.co. Kiddle.co is a search site, which is great and helpful when the kids are searching. But what’s interesting about kettle is Well, one thing is they was having a little trivia question each day, which we appreciate. But it’s a way for students to be able to research topics and have their information pulled up for them quickly and in a safe visual search for kids. So there’s not random things coming up. I as a social studies teacher, when I’m doing that part of my job, oftentimes we’re searching all kinds of things. And random stuff pops up because it history, you get all kinds of images and research and connections to things and you’re like, hey, yeah, let’s just move past that, because that’s not appropriate. So I need a random topic to search. What do you got?

Fuzz Martin 3:50
The bubonic plague?

Shanna Martin 3:52
Okay.

Fuzz Martin 3:54
You never like the ideas that I give you on the fly.

Shanna Martin 3:57
While you give me things I have to like think about how to spell.

Fuzz Martin 4:00
Oh, and you just type in the plague the Black Plague?

Shanna Martin 4:04
Yep. There we go. Got it. And I even typed in bubonic. Oh, nice. And it was appropriate Black Death facts, blacked out facts for kids. So it pulls up DK Find Out which is a site that we’ve talked about before. And then goes right through and pulls up all kinds of student friendly search sites and or articles. So from Library of Congress and from DK Kids and kids Kiddle thing so these these sites will come up with things that are student friendly. What’s cool is so I gave like just a web search. You can also search just facts. So you if kids pick the fact button, it will pull up back specifically for kids and everything is going to be kid friendly. And then they also have the image search which is nice, which again is going to be like historical and things like that. What I like about Kiddle is when you’re using They’ll cite and you’re searching. They also have the Kiddle, it’s when you search the facts portion is a kid’s Encyclopedia of facts. So often I have kids searching, like specific cities. And when you do, I’m gonna type in Milwaukee. So when you search specific cities, it’ll give you like featured sites, it’ll give you all the history behind it as you need to. And it’s very clear. So like Milwaukee facts for kids from kids encyclopedia, it’ll list the history of it, you can then search through contents, so it will give you like, do you want geography of the city? Do you want the demographics of the city? Do you want the economy Do you have the culture, so it pulls those pieces in a very clear format. So when kids are researching, if they’re just researching, maybe they have to do the geography of it, they can go right to that section. And that’s what it gives them. I know, as I have eighth graders, but younger students, it’s the harnessing of all of the information, that gets to be really difficult, because it’s so much information, and they don’t know where to start or the small portion that they need. So what’s cool about Kiddle is that it will then especially in the encyclopedia part, break down, what information do you need. So it’ll give you historic neighborhoods, if that’s what you’re going to be searching, it will give you like the city scape, it will give you the climate, and it puts that into a section for you. So it’s not so overwhelming with knowledge and information, I guess, which I think is very helpful as a teacher truly well laid out. Are you searching things I can, I’m looking at the Milwaukee page and searching through, it’s just and it’s laid out in a very kid friendly way. It also links them to different vocabulary, which is helpful. So Kiddle as when you’re searching, you can also search just images directly, like I said before, and then the facts section is going to be like the encyclopedia section, which is awesome.

Shanna Martin 6:58
Also, something that’s newer for Kiddle that they’ve added is there is a section in Spanish so you can search specifically in Spanish, and it will lead you through without having to have a translator or anything on there. So that’s pretty helpful for several of our students as well. So Kiddle super easy search engine when you’re researching and doing inquiry and friendly for kids. So there’s not all the random things like when you’re searching the bubonic plague in all your free time

Fuzz Martin 7:35
You ask for a historical topic and that was the first one that came up.

Shanna Martin 7:38
I don’t know why I don’t either, but kill. So Kiddle is very helpful for all of our kiddos when it comes to searching and doing inquiry. So check out Kindle. I feel like you just can start like singing a song about Kiddle on your fiddle. And you can just like

Fuzz Martin 7:56
go, Yes, I’m going to play Kiddle on my fiddle right after the show.

Shanna Martin 8:01
Great. Yeah, maybe you could come up with something

Fuzz Martin 8:04
For Christmas for myself. So it really for you and the rest of the family to enjoy.

Shanna Martin 8:10
Can’t wait. So kiddos are first search we have two more because I was just collecting them as I was going and well. I try to stick to one or two topics we all know sometimes I get excited about stuff. So the second search site and or helpful research section for our kiddos is beyond Kiddle This one is called Kidtopia. So it’s Kidtopia, k i d t o p pi a dot info. Kid topia is another cool search that you can use. And when you’re using Kidtopia you could choose something like let’s choose something simple. We’re going to search Turtles. Turtles, okay.

Fuzz Martin 8:57
I was going to do the stock market crash to 20 so turtle turtle let’s let’s do turtle So

Shanna Martin 9:03
you started turtles, you’ll come up with like sponsored sites at the top but what Kidtopia does, it takes away like the extra images along the sides which is helpful it does have more ads so I just forewarn everybody like Kidtopia does have more ads that come up, but the search there is still very clear. It’s like sea turtles. And it brings you right to the World Wildlife and so that comes up with their research it’s going to come up with Smithsonian’s research Britannica kids research. And so you can just click on the articles right away and it takes me to kids Britannica. So that way all the information is there. You just choose your topic and then reliable sites are going to come up. Now what I have taught my students and it’s still important for them to understand is that even though you’re searching and it’s a kid friendly site to search, yeah, you still need to be aware of information that you need.

Shanna Martin 9:56
You know, when we go through our media literacy stuff like is this information that is is like pure facts, or is this going to be like opinionated, so just things to pay attention to with kids. But when you’re doing Kidtopia, you can search easily. There’s other options as well. So there’s the kid topia fact section. So you can click on that. And that’s pretty cool because it’s just gonna give you facts about dinosaurs. And that pulls up like information from like the dictionary and dinosaurs.com and DK Find Out which we’ve talked about before, you can click on geography. So Kidtopia facts just pulls up, cool information. And they have a fact retriever and it will just give you cool like 38 towering giraffe facts go. And that comes right from fact retriever. So it’s cool, because they have that a search section that just gives you cool information for all our kids that like to know, lots of facts about stuff in the world. And then they do have sections in Ketopia that are content specific. So you can search science and social studies, the arts, animals, biographies.

Shanna Martin 10:59
If you click on biographies, it will then break it down by artists and astronauts and explorers, and lightest picked explorers. And then it has like a little video. And then it will give you different link sites to explorers with decay, find out in dumpsters and things like that. So it’s another way for kids to search. And it takes them to other kid friendly search sites, which is really helpful, especially if you’re having kids search for a project or biographies or like science exploration, it’s going to be there by category, which I know a lot of times, that’s helpful. And there’s a lot of visuals for our younger students or our students that need our visuals, those are going to be in there, which helps as well.

Shanna Martin 11:39
So there are those options for Kidtopia, as well, I’ve also noticed too, so if you go into like social studies, it will then break it down by like world history or US history, those options are in there. And then sometimes to when you’re in Kidtopia, it will give you crafts or coloring pages. So there’s additional resources for kids in there too, besides just researching, so there’s other information about topics, they like dance, and then they have learning dances, and then the chicken dance, and they have a video and so it leads just to all kinds of that just information and research, but also other things that kids would be interested in. On Kidtopia.info yeah. So that was kind of fun. You feel like you’re learning lots I see like, brains clicking turtles to like plague yards down one kinda turtle hole? Yeah, the chicken dance. Yep.

Fuzz Martin 12:34
And here we are. I’m back, now.

Shanna Martin 12:36
You’re back from turtles. Yes. Cool. The last one that I’m gonna talk about this one is more straightforward. I feel like then the other two Kiddle it’s got a little robot and it’s like cutesy and then you got Kidtopia, which has a lot of visuals for kids. And then sweet spot, or sweet I’m sorry, SweetSearch is a search engine for students. This I would focus a little bit older crowd that we still want to check with our searching. So sweet SW E E T search SEAR C h.com. And this is going to be pretty straightforward.

Shanna Martin 13:10
So if we’re gonna search the term, (panda bears), panda bears, I was gonna say computer, but we’ll do pandas. So we’re gonna search our pandas to come up with all kinds of articles about pandas. It starts with our sponsored searches. But then again, it’ll take you right into the world of pandas. What’s interesting about SweetSearch is this one will also give you news related sites. So it’s not just going to be pulling, like research based sites, so it will pull in news. You also have the option on the search page on the front, you can just search but you can search news specifically. Okay, so if you want like pandas in the news, you can go ahead and type pandas in the news. And when you search the news portion, the colors switches to green, so they are kind of color coded. And then it will give you all of the times that pandas are searching in the news.

Shanna Martin 14:07
Now why I say this one is better for older students is it will search directly and it doesn’t have ads on it. But it will give all kinds of content that is going to be pandas in the news. But this one really talks about starting to live. So like it will give you all kinds of information to search. And it’s not necessarily going to be friendly for younger students. So that’s something to note that suite search will be very direct about no ads and things like that. But it will give you all the news articles or all of the history that you’re searching. It’s not it’s not going to filter out like specific topics or things like that. So that’s just something to note that this one would be for older students, when they are searching and or with teacher guidance for sure. SweetSearch history. You can search shipwrecks and if I am SweetSearching history, which is the other option to pick from this will then go through and give me all kinds of like shipwrecks and from the Minnesota, Minnesota Historical Society, and shipwrecks like world’s best dive sites and shipwrecks in the Padre Island. So all kinds of cool ways to find shipwrecks in history. And you can search that as well. So something to note with SweetSearch, too. You can choose to do news or history, gets away the ads and all of the extra stuff, but you still get to check for the articles if they’re going to be age appropriate, just because of the content in them. Yeah,

Fuzz Martin 15:35
I can see that. So it seems like kiddle.co is probably the most buttoned up

Shanna Martin 15:42
For like elementary younger students for independent searching. Yeah, yeah. And then Kidtopia is gonna give you a little more freedom, it’s gonna have more images and connections, but there’s just extras on that one. And then SweetSearch would be like middle school, high school

Fuzz Martin 15:58
Below Google in terms of how much you have to pay attention.

Shanna Martin 16:01
Yeah, so that one, you’re gonna need to still check it out. It filters away ads and those extra things, but not necessarily the content. Sure. So there you go. All right. Very good. Now you can search all things, social things, search things, via the Google Yes, with your kids to give them a little independence while they’re researching and inquiring about new things in their classrooms. And hopefully, give them some independence while they’re working as well.

Fuzz Martin 16:29
Very good. If you want to learn about the bubonic plague or pandas or

Shanna Martin 16:32
turtles, or shipwrecks or shipwrecks, or anything else that you want to learn, yeah, really? There’s all kinds of cool biographical information in there too.

Fuzz Martin 16:39
Agreed. This internet, man. I think it’s probably going to stick around.

Shanna Martin 16:44
It might. So we won’t be around next week, because it’s a break week, but then we’ll be back in December. Wow.

Fuzz Martin 16:54
Where did the year go?

Shanna Martin 16:58
Craziness. Well, I hope everybody does. Those of you that do have break. Enjoy break. If you don’t have break, I hope you find some time to take a break. Thanks for tuning in. This has been the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast. If you ever have any questions, you can find me on the app formerly known as Twitter, at smart in WI or on threads. And if you want to get more information, and the links to the technology discussed in this episode, visit Spartan wi.com. Also shout out to the all the ED campers in New Jersey. Yeah, I don’t know who got the cool coffee mug and all the extra stuff from the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast, but thanks for listening. I appreciate it. If you’d like to support the show, please consider buying me a coffee or to visit buy me a coffee.com/smartinwi or is it smartinwi.com and click on that cute little purple coffee cup. Your donations help keep the show going. New episodes each week, unless we’re taking a break. Thanks for listening, go educate and innovate

Fuzz Martin 17:56
the ideas and opinions expressed in this podcast and the smartinwi.com website are those of the author, Shanna Martin, and not of her employer. Prior to using any of the technologies discussed on this podcast, please consult with your employer regulations. This podcast offers no guarantee that these tools will work for you as described, but we sure hope they do. And we’ll talk to you next time right here on the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast.

 

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