Google Seeks to Help Children Search Better – NYTimes.com

Good grief. What a misleading headline.

While I agree that learning how to use search engines to find information successfully is an important skill, I don’t know if I want my kids to search "better" per se. For primary school children, I’d want them to learn how to search in a limited, controlled environment.

When considering children, search engines had long focused on filtering out explicit material from results. But now, because increasing numbers of children are using search as a starting point for homework, exploration or entertainment, more engineers are looking to children for guidance on how to improve their tools.

Kids apparently like Bing because it uses more images than other search engines. Also, I did not realize that children tend to focus on whatever’s on the bottom of the computer screen because that’s what they see first when they look up from the keyboard after pecking out their search.

As for Stephen, I’ve installed Chrome on his computer and while he usually doesn’t have to search for much, he already knows that he only has to enter an approximation of the correct spelling and the computer will offer up the correct search term or URL to him. Frightening to think what he’ll be able to unearth online in the future. Perhaps some of what I’ve written about him but have since locked up….

IMG_3640

If you’re interested in alternative search engines specially designed for kids, check out AskKids.com and Tyler Wainright has a list of safe and secure web browsers for kids.

Comments Off