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Search Tools

kiddle, kidrex, search engines for kids?

kiddle(update: March 2, 2016 – Check the comments below for updates and additional links)

Lots of folks are sharing links to, supposedly a new kids search tool and touting it as an answer to a parent’s prayers, so to speak.

It’s not that new, the domain was registered in 2014 and the service was mentioned in some blog posts back then. But it’s getting new press this week, initially from some business magazines that should do more fact checking before they report. This tool is most definitely not some long-awaited release from Google that they describe. (more…)


BingItOn  – Enter a search and BingItOn retrieves a set of results from both Google and Bing, but doesn’t idenetify which set is which. Have students evaluate which set of results is better, identify criteria for good results and learn that using additional search tools has value.  (via: Online. 36.6 (November-December 2012): p13)

Google Real Time Search

(short screencast)

I suspect I’m starting to sound like a Google employee, but I’m just testing out lots of Google stuff for a bunch of workshops coming up.

This short screencast shows the new real time search feature in action. For hot topics with timely content, you may see a scrolling news feed of updates appearing in your search results. Results are pulled from Twitter, FriendFeed, news sites, blogs and more. (more at Search Engine Land) If you don’t see any real time updates, use the sidebar options to limit to “Latest” results or to “Updates”.

This screencast also shows a preview of the redesign that Google has been testing. Note the changes in the sidebar. These types of limiters have been available for a while, but they’ve been hiding behind a little “show options” link. In this redesign, all the options will be very visible. I like it!

New Google Search Options

Google has just added some more handy search filters to the “show options” side panel that they introduced last May.

Today, we’re announcing nine new Search Options tools: past hour, specific date range, more shopping sites, fewer shopping sites, visited pages, not yet visited, books, blogs and news. These features have been rolling out gradually and will be available globally in English by the end of the day. You can try them yourself by searching Google and clicking “Show options” in the blue bar just under the logo. (source: Google Blog)

I use this side panel all the time now and with each new bunch of search filters, it becomes even more helpful. I love the Timeline Feature to get a very rough idea of how long a particular product, term or concept has been kicking around. The Wonder Wheel is great fun to get an idea of related terms when my mind goes blank. Images from the Page helps me find screenshots and photos that are often more relevant than the regular Images search. And I think I’m going to love the Fewer Shopping Sites feature (ok and maybe the More Shopping Sites one too!)

(via: Phil Bradley’s weblog)

Google Books – Barcode scanning & Search your collection

Barcode your bookshelf with Google Books features a short video that shows how to use a bar code scanner to enter your books into your personal library on Google Books. I don’t have a scanner, but I bet lots of you do! Handy, fast way to get lots of books entered quickly.

Why bother adding books to Google Books? As they note at the end of the video, once you’ve built a collection, you can easily search the full text of just your own book collection. Handy for those  times  that you can’t remember which of your books has the information you’re looking for.

It’s NOT a search engine – Wolfram Alpha – try it!

A new tool for finding data and doing calculations was released in March. I just heard about it today – several times in fact – I’m a few weeks behind on the “buzz”.

Wolfram Alpha is NOT a search engine – “It’s a computational knowledge engine: it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links.” (source)

What does that mean? If you’re looking for data or something that can be computed, Wolfram Alpha will try to figure it out and give you an answer. It’s not searching the web and returning web pages that might have an answer. It’s drawing on a big collection of data to try and get the right information for you.

It can be a bit fussy about what you put in, so do take a look at their page of examples to get a feel for what it can do.

A couple of searches I tested:

And my all time favorite that was used in an NPR piece on Wolfram Alpha

Try it out. What do you think? Did you find some great searches to share?