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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to use search tools to find out specific information at internet?

How do you start your search at internet?
The simple answer is 'Google', but do you get the specific or reliable results after few searches? Yes, you many be lucky to get the specific information after some time, but often you are simly lost to find only reliable resource or links. How to search effectively for educational stuff at the internet? Using online search tools can help you a lot and save hours of your hard work.

Search tools are intended to help you find the information you need. Each search tool takes a slightly different approach. Search engines, directories, indexes, and portals can all be helpful. While each of these has a specific definition, many search engines have more than one option. For example, Google is a search engine, but it also has a directory available. While most search tools ask users to enter key words, some like 'Ask Jeeves' are designed for questions.

How do the search tools find all the websites?

Many of the search engines use robots, wanderers, worms, spiders, harvesters, and other automated systems to find websites. In addition, people sometimes add their own website to the list.

Search engines - resources are automatically databased by a computer. The results vary depending on the rules the sites uses to select materials.

Indexes and Directories - information is organized into categories or lists that are sometimes created by people and sometimes computers. Many search engines also have directories.

Subject guides - resources are selected and organized by people. They are good for large and focused topics, but provide fewer resources than search engines.

Meta engines - these sites explore a number of search tools to come up with diverse results. For example, Dogpile searches LookSmart, FindWhat, Overture, and several others

Portals - create a virtual desktop that provides, in one central place, web-based information and resources needed by a user. The difference between a portal and a regular website is that information is customized by the user.

 For Teachers and Teens:

Search Engines

  • Alta Vista
  • All the Web
  • Excite
  • Google*
  • Hotbot
  • Lycos
  • Teoma

Guides and Directories
  • Galaxy
  • Librarian's Index
  • Open Directory Project
  • Yahoo*
Meta Engine Search Tools

  • Ask Jeeves
  • Dogpile
  • EZ2find
  • Mamma
  • MetaCrawler
  • SurfWax
  • Vivisimo
  • WebCrawler
  • Wisenut
  • Zapmeta
  • Visual Engine 'Kartoo'
  • Science Search Engine 'scirus'
  • Law Search Engine 'FindLaw'
  • Audio & Video 'Singing Fish'
  • Movies 'IMDb'
  • Archives Engine 'Wayback Machine'

You can find search tools for children, as well as particular information formats (i.e., graphics, videos) and content areas. Ditto and FreePhoto are popular image sites. Use FindSounds for audio files. The advantage of a specialized tool is their narrow focus. Rather than getting "everything", they have selected those resources that fit a particular need. For example, KidsClick provides information about the reading level and number of illustrations contained on a website. Use CNET Search to search for software and hardware information.

Go to Starting Points for Kids or Kid's Search Tools for other pages with student search engines links.

Search Engines for Kids and Teens

  • KidsClick- Web search for kids by librarians 
  •  is a search engine / portal for kids, children, parents, and teachers.
  • EduHound
  • Ithaki Kids 'Intelligent search engine that finds sites just for kids searching simultaneously in various guides.'
  • LycosZone


  • Alfy
  • Ask Jeeves for Kids
  • Awesome Library
  • CyberSleuth Kids
  • EduPuppy
  • Family Friendly Search
  • Internet Public Library
  • KidsKonnect
  • ThinkQuest
  • Yahooligans*

* 'Google for educators' 

* Internet Resources for Teaching and Learning  at 'Teacher tap'
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