Monday, January 23, 2012

RTBot, Oolone, and Stumble Upon

Most people use Google or Wikipedia to search a topic.  Recently Google changed how its search engine works integrating Google + ahead of Facebook and Twitter.  Click here and here to read more about that.


So, if you wanted to do a Google Search for, let's say, digital story telling, here is what it would look like:

It doesn't look like much has changed to me.  


Did you know there are many different search engines to use besides Google or Wikipedia?  Let me share a few that I found more appealing and kind of fun.


#1 - RTBot - I find the search results for RTBot to be visually appealing.


Here is what a search for digital storytelling would look like on RTBot.




I like the small picture and short description.




#2 Oolone - This search engine gives results in a unique way.


This is what Oolone looks like.  The search has boxes in the shape of a figure eight.



Here is what Oolone looks like when you do a search for digital story telling.


Oolone gives the results in small visual boxes that can be enlarged and the entire search is in a figure eight.  I found this to be a really fun way to search the web.




#3 Stumble Upon - This is my favorite search engine to play around with.


You need to sign up to use Stumble Upon.  It's super easy to sign up.



Once you have an account, Stumble Upon will ask for your interests and personalize your searches for you.



Using Stumble Upon is simple and what I would call an eclectic way to search the web.  Many people who use Pinterest find things to pin on Stumble Upon.
Stumble Upon personalizes your search results to your likes and dislikes.

Here is what Stumble Upon says they are all about:
We help you easily discover new and interesting stuff on the Web. Tell us what you like, and we’ll introduce you to amazing web pages, videos, photos and more that you wouldn’t have found on your own.
As you Stumble through great web pages, tell us whether you Like or Dislike our recommendations so we can show you more of what’s best for you. We’ll show you web pages based on that feedback as well as what similar Stumblers and the people you follow have Liked or Disliked.
Our members have given us some pretty great compliments in the past, including describing us as “the entire Internet, all in one place,”  ”an epic journey” and “a map to an adventure you wouldn’t otherwise have found out about.
Whether you’re interested in Humor, Photography, Fashion or Sports, we have something for you.  Every Stumble is an adventure, and something amazing is always just a click away.



I highly recommend trying out new search engines such as the ones above.  Students will also be interested in learning how to use other search engines.  To be honest though, I rarely allow students to search the web on their own.  I usually do the searching for the students first and make sure I know exactly what the students will encounter on a web search.  I use sites that allow me to share URLs and control the search for the student.  As a teacher of 10 and 11 year-olds, I feel it is my responsibility to make sure students are engaging in safe and appropriate content.


There are search engines for kids to use that make the search safe and geared towards content appropriate for a younger person.  But that's going to have to be another blog post on a different day.



No comments: