Saturday 28 January 2012

Great search engines for teachers and students

There is abundance of search engines available and most of us resort to using Google (and I love it too). There are, however, quite a lot of new, less popular tools that help us find information on the web. I have listed here some of my favourite search tools, each for its own unique features.

Twurdy is a great tool for students because it sorts the findings according to the readability level, i.e. the texts that are easier to read and understand are shaded in lighter colour while the more complicated texts have a darker colouring. This saves the precious student time as they can choose to read the easier texts first.
The name "Twurdy" comes from a play on words with the question "Too Wordy?" - a quote from the website.

My latest favourite - instaGrok search engine - is rich and versatile and saves a lot of your effort and time which you would spend looking for the necessary information, related videos or images.
instaGrok not only finds quality educational materials, but helps learners make sense of them - a quote from the website.

instaGrok displays links, images, concept maps (cool feature!), definitions of related words and terms, videos and even quizzes related to your search, all well-organised and easy to access.

If you register, you can get a summary of all your activities on instaGrok by visiting the page myGrok. If you want your students to provide proof of their online work, ask them to register and share their myGrok page with you.

Oolone is a visual search engine which lets you preview the selected webpages instantly. I typed "climate change" in the search box and got these results. For people who love to see the things before they "buy" them, this tool is indispensable.

PhotoPin is brilliant just for one reason - it searches creative commons photos which are free to download without any fear of breaking the copyright rules.

If I were a kid, I'd love this search engine KidRex because it looks as if it has been made by kids for kids.
The tool searches websites that are kids-friendly and safe, the results are carefully filtered.
If I were a primary school teacher, I'd teach my students how to use this tool.


There is also a lovely gallery of kids' drawings.
"KidRex is the best Google!" ♥


Anonymous said...

Thank you, this has been really useful, the search engines are great! I have posted links onto my course moodle area, hopefully the students will love them as much as me.

Roy said...

Good stuff! In fact I had never heard of these before. Thanks for the info. I've started checking them out.