A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that KidzSearch.com is a search engine that's supposed to be tailored to provide safe, adult-content-free search results. Sexually charged terms and curse words are blocked. Some graphic details from news articles or commentary about drinking may be stumbled upon, since many articles found in searches are taken from news sites. Parents should be aware that ads are placed on every page, and Google ad results appear at the top of results as well.
What's it about?
KIDZSEARCH.COM adds another layer to Google's Safe Search option, promising to deliver K–12-appropriate results devoid of any adult content. The site, which has a partnership with Google, removes some sites from its results based on input from the KidzSearch.com community, composed of thousands of public and private schools. The site also offers auto-suggest keywords, based on terms kids enter, to help direct them to the most relevant scholastic content.
Is it any good?
KidzSearch.com's search engine is its biggest selling point, but the site also offers a good amount of content. Most of the content featured (videos, games, and some other items) is curated from other sites, but there's some original content as well, including informational articles on geography, science, and other topics. More direct, concise instructions on the Boolify Boolean Graphic page, for example, would help kids understand what they're about to do. The site design also is fairly simple; it's text-heavy, and the graphics aren't overly impressive. But the amount of ads that show up on some pages is a bigger distraction. Actual search engine results show up halfway down the page because Google ads are listed first, and kids will see large ads on top of the Pictures and Music pages. Furthermore, some of the site content seems directed toward adults; there's no explanation as to why some articles referencing alcohol bypass the strict content blocking on the site.
Overall, though, there's some good stuff on KidzSearch.com. The search engine capabilities alone are a reason for checking it out. It's unlikely that kids will never see anything iffy, which the site recognizes; its About Us section encourages parents to try to get offensive search results and let administrators know, so they can block the terms or websites. But chances are that kids are safer looking up topics on KidzSearch.com than they would be on many other search sites.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about using search engines to find information online. Why would a site that screens the results be better to use than other search engines?
Search engines often provide a bunch of options, some of which may not be legit. How can you tell if a website is a valid source of information?
Discuss the difference between opinion and fact. Which signs might indicate something on a website is someone's thought as opposed to something factual?
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, vocabulary
Math: division, fractions, geometry
Science: biology, physics
Social Studies: geography, global awareness
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: collecting data, logic, solving puzzles
Self-Direction: academic development, personal growth
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Genre: Browsing and Searching
- Topics: Arts and dance, History, Music and sing-along, Numbers and letters, Science and nature
- Pricing structure: Free
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