Internet safety and reliability of information are two issues I often consider when navigating the internet. Students are often told to tread with trepidation in using information gathered from wikipedia as anyone with an active account can easily edit in a heartbeat. Safe from a dying mobile phone battery, I remember years ago I was moments away from losing a weeks worth of grocery money through an online betting app after seeing wikipedia had made ‘Sam Mitchell’ from ‘Hawthorn’ as the winner of the AFL’s most prestigious individual award, the Brownlow Medal. The only thing was, the Brownlow Medal count was still hours away from beginning. Suffice to say, Mitchell didn’t poll as well as the anonymous editor of Wikipedia had expected. Lesson learned, not all information is good information.
Taking this life experience into the classroom, and coupling it with the importance of cyber safety, I have come across a wonderful search engine that is ‘child friendly’. In being child friendly, it embraces the security and reliability to ensure children can learn and engage with information without the need to be screened 24/7. It is Google for kids!
Named kiddle, the visual search engine is run by editors and backed by google’s safe search technology to ensure the first one to three hits are specifically written for children. The following four to seven hits have been written in easy to understand language. Now with a search engine specifically geared towards children, the opportunities for students to develop investigative skills and the nurturing of a natural curiosity have just gotten better. I can’t wait to stat telling my students to “kiddle it”.