20 Useful Specialty Search Engines for Teachers

Published by Jennifer on Wed Apr 13, 2011

Are your students intimidated by search engines? Or, are you frustrated because search engines often don’t return the results you want for yourself as a teacher or for your students? Try some of the results we discovered below, from simple searches to useful Web tools and comprehensive directories targeted solely to educators and kids or teens.

Search Engines

  1. BiographiconAll Teacher Websites: All Teacher Websites only provides results from websites geared toward teachers, so you don’t need to dig through irrelevant search results again.
  2. Biographicon: Not only can you search for biographies about famous people, you can help students create their own biographies (birth dates, street addresses, telephone numbers or other contact information not allowed).
  3. Early Childhood Teachers Search Engine: The PreKinders site offers a custom Google search engine (see below under Web tools) that searches through about seventeen sites selected by the Web author.
  4. iSeek: This search engine is targeted to students, teachers, administrators and caregivers, as it is safe, authoritative, intelligent and saves time. Teachers can instantly identify lesson plans, activities, school subjects, grade levels and more with iView navigation.
  5. KidRex: KidRex is a fun and safe search for kids, by kids, monitored by adults. KidRex searches emphasize kid-related Web pages from across the entire Web and are powered by Google Custom Search and use Google SafeSearch technology. Additionally, KidRex maintains its own database of inappropriate Web sites and keywords.
  6. Quintura Kids: A great site for kids when visualization becomes the center of user experience “replacing antiquated listings and Boolean strings.” When searching for a topic, the regular list comes up along with a cloud that allows students to delve deeper into that topic.
  7. RefSeek: Currently in public beta, RefSeek is a web search engine for students and researchers that aims to make academic information easily accessible to everyone. RefSeek searches more than one billion documents, including web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers.
  8. Sweet Search: Direct your students to this search engine, which is created, reviewed and approved by a team of librarians, teachers, and research experts. Note that the searches listed below Sweet Search are geared toward specific studies, such as social studies, biographies, and a Sweet Search for school librarians.

Web Tools and Articles

  1. GCS15 Little-Known Ways Google Can Help Teachers And Students: Edudemic offers a detailed article on various Google resources and how to use them. The topics include Google Books, Geo Education, Google News, Google Notebook, the custom search engine, Google Calendar and other resources.
  2. Searching With Savvy: The Best Search Engines for Teachers and Students: If you are frustrated by search engines that give you unrelated responses, if you are spending too much time looking for on-line resources, if you are worried that students may access the wrong kind of information, then read on…this article provides great information about the variety of ways to search logically.
  3. The Google Custom Search Engine: Teachers can personalize a custom Google search engine (CSE) that searches across sites that you specify, and displays results that you know will be right for you or your students. You can also share your knowledge and expertise with colleagues and the educational community at large by creating a CSE that searches a specific set of educational sites, professionally vetted resources, or an esoteric blend of your personal favorites. You also can search through the directory for Google Custom Search Engines.
  4. WolframAlpha: The 21st Century Search Engine for educators: This article explains the Wolfram|Alpha search tool succinctly. The author also offers other search tools for educators, including a series of links for “21st century search engines teachers must be aware of…”

Directories

  1. EduhoundEduhound: Eduhound site sets are collections of topic-based online education resources. Pick a topic and learn more about that topic through the links chosen for this site’s directories. This tool can provide valuable ed tech resources to incorporate into your curriculum. Educational topics, templates, technology tutorials, and practical tips are featured as well as lesson plans.
  2. Free Teacher Tools: This page offers portals and search engines for teachers as well as education plans and more resources…definitely a time-saving opportunity that teachers can tap into, offered by the Educational Technology Training Center at East Brunswick Public Schools.
  3. HomeSchool Supersearch: This is a filtered, family-safe search engine and directory for teachers, educators, students and homeschoolers. At the same time, it is a pay-per-click search engine, and businesses and Web site owners can advertise by bidding on keywords.
  4. Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators: Discovery Education offers a three-tabbed resource that links search engines, subject directories and information about the Internet. These resources are directed especially to educators.
  5. Lesson Plan Search: Educators can add or modify sites within this directory, geared toward lesson plans in various topics. Thematic Units contains the highest number of links, followed by science, seasonal activities and social studies.
  6. NASET Search Engines: This directory, offered by the National Association of Special Education Teachers, offers a wide variety of search engines. Oddly, none of them are linked to the actual search engine, so users need to copy the URL and paste it in the URL window to go to the site.
  7. Search Tools for Kids, Teens, and Teachers: This directory is broken down into categories for teachers and teens. This page also explains the difference among various search tools such as search engines, indexes and directories and portals.
  8. Specialized Search Engines and Directories: This link leads to directories especially for educators. All of these links lead to sites that contain specific information that may not turn up when you do a general search of the Web using generalized search engines and directories.

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