A real concern for teachers is having students search online safely. I have had this conversation with many of you. Three suggestions that I have given are:
- Use a kid-friendly search engine, like KidRex.
- Supply the websites for students, for example, use our shared resources on a district curriculum links page.
- Keep your eyes peeled and circulate when students are on devices!
Check out the straightforward, brief, easy-to-follow video on how to set up controlled search for your students from websites that you want them to use:
What I really like about this approach, is that it keeps students focused on sites that you approve with the functionality of doing a “real” search. I know many of you are supplying links in your Google Classroom which is fabulous! (And you don’t have to wait for someone to put your link on a district page.) In Google Classroom, students easily click on each individual site as they are seeking information. However, you can stream line and pull the process together by supplying students with the link to a Google Custom Search you create. Students then can search all of your given sites at once, giving them an authentic searching experience.
Of course, there is no substitute for being a physical presence while students are online searching. Reality, though, is we are not always there, especially if we are asking students to do research at home. Then it all comes down to making sure that we have conversations with our students about being good digital citizens, but that’s another post…
Let me know what you think… I’d be happy to help you give this potentially better way to search a try!