Tech Tools for the Everyday Teacher

Safety first

The internet can be a dangerous place.  Everyone has access to the internet and that means: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Students need to learn about internet dangers and how to protect themselves from potential situations.  Students also need to be directed to sites that have safe content.

In 5th grade at our school we do a large Exhibition project where students research different issues and take notes…citations… and so much more.  Immediately our students get onto google and search for their topics.  They then spend the next 20 mins searching google images and checking google sites-  half of which bring up the yellow screen of death our district has installed to prevent bad websites.

So are there free search engines that could assist students in these projects?  As a district we have paid for something called Nettrekker which has been an okay tool.  So what else is out there?

1. One website that was designed by librarians for kids to explore on is called: Kids Click.  Although it won’t come up with as many hits as google – the websites suggested are educational and safe.  At least have students give it a shot.

2. Awesome Library is a site that has over 37000 resources and links available.  Each of the resources have been carefully checked for safety and accuracy of information.

3. Dib Dab Doo and Dilly Too is another safe, smart way of searching on the internet.  Have students use these types of search engines before moving on to more open ended, non-checked over links.

4. Ask Kids is a great tool that provides a safe, easy search engine.

There are other excellent resources like Brittanica and World Book Online for kids, but these cost money.  Give the four above a shot and see if students come away with excellent information  – without having to search through dangerous territory.

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