Visual Search Engine: instaGrok

Over the course of the the last few days my students have begun to use instaGrok as a search engine in class. This site conducts searches in a very visual way that invokes students to explore and learn. Often times I see them digging deeper into a search due to the visual nature of the the search engine. The visual nature also seems to spark  the curiosity in students to explore and look deeper into a topic. Another great thing about this search engine is the layout which provides students immediately with key facts, videos, images and other resources. Saving students time in looking for these resources next which they often need to do for many assignments. I was very happy with how engaged my students were and how they seemed to really like to use this search engine.

Check it out for yourself at:

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Teach Students to Search the Web: School Resources Part Seven

Image representing Google Search as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

I am often amazed how many teachers assume that students can conduct a basic web search in a search engine.  This is a  skill often over looked in schools and is the cause of frustration for many students.  So many times teachers tell their students to go to the web and research information on a particular subject.  Students then go to Google type in a word or two and get frustrated when they can only find a minimal amount of information.  This frustration often leads to decreased motivation for the project or assignment.  A simple fix to this problem is to teach students how to conduct a proper web search.  Here are 11 great search engines that are great at assisting you in teaching students how to conduct a web search.

Askkids FactMonster KartOO KidsClick Middlespot Quintura Kids Safesearch Sleedo Sortfix Wolfram Alpha Yolink

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Protect Your Identity Online With img4me

An important part of any online endeavor is protecting your personal information.  In creating your PLN or online learning community, you may need to display some personal information in order to receive feedback from others.  The problem with posting this information is that search engine crawlers often grab this information and place it in their databases for all to access.  To prevent these search engines from storing your personal information placed on your blog or website, you can convert this information from text on your site to an image.  Img4me does just that for you.  It will convert any text into an image that you can place on your site and have peace of mind that the many different searcgh engines will not grab that information and place it in their databases.  This is a simple to use site and produces good quality images that will work well on any site.  Check it out at the address below:

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Great search tool for students. “Factbites”

Often times when students begin research projects and turn to the web for information, they feel overwhelmed.  Their search results net thousands of pages that may contain the key words they are searching for but do not contain any information on their given topic.  Many search results are pages that just contain the word or phrase on the page and no real substantial information.  As students begin to look through these results, they feel frustrated, and this frustration causes a lack of motivation.  They begin to lose interest in their search and project.  This is when I hear students say, “I can’t find any information on my topic!”   Over the past few years, I have been looking at different search engines and helping students with how to do a good search on the web, but I still had failed to find a really good topic specific search engine.  That was until now.  Over the past few weeks, I have been having my students use Factbites.  This search engine seems to narrow down the web to the actual content or information that students are looking for. They can quickly see if this site is going to contain information relevant to their topic.  While this is not a cure all, it has seemed to reduce frustration among my students.  Students still need to know and understand how to do a proper internet search, but this search engine will get them to relevant information quicker and easier.

Give it a try at: