Children today are quite familiar with how the virtual world works. To make their online experience safer, here's a list of top kid-safe search engines you should look into.
By Ashwin Lobo
Today's children are living in the age of the Internet. It’s not uncommon to see children as young as two years old playing on a smartphone or tablet. Technology is more a part of the lives of our children today than it was before. It has also affected the way our children learn and perceive knowledge.
Interactive technology is being increasingly used in schools with the advent of smart boards and dedicated computer labs. The Internet is proving to be of great help to students when it comes to research for doing projects and assignments.
When the Internet is used well, it can be of great benefit to our children. However, at the same time it is extremely easy for young minds to access inappropriate content online. Privacy, safety and Internet addiction are also big concerns.
As parents, it is our responsibility to monitor our children’s Internet usage to ensure that they are not unwittingly exposed to content which is unsuitable for them. This means that we have to be aware of which websites they access and what activities they engage in online.
Fortunately, technology offers a solution for this. A number of kid-safe search engines, web directories and browsers are available today. Here is a list of search engines that are safe for children .
Six safe search engines your child can use:
Kiddle: As the name suggests, Kiddle is a search engine designed specifically for children. Powered by Google, this search engine is largely visual in nature. Not only is Kiddle safe, but it also provides results that are easily understandable by children. The first few results to any query are pages that are hand-picked by editors. The content in them is meant specifically for children. Although the results which appear later do not always include content simple enough for children to understand, they are nevertheless protected by Google’s Safe Search software.
Kido’z: Unlike Kiddle, Kido’z isn’t a search engine for children, it’s an entire browser meant just for them. Though Kido’z is ideally meant for children between the ages of three and seven years, slightly older kids may also enjoy it. The browser allows access to games, videos and other websites within a safe, colourful and child-friendly user interface. The website is replete with colourful icons leading to pages of age-appropriate content. Kido’z also comes with parental controls that are password-protected. This will enable you to manage content available to your child and block material that you may find inappropriate.
Kid Info: This website is meant for children above the age of six years. It was originally started by a primary school teacher for the purpose of helping children with their homework; but, today the website offers much more — valuable resources for parents and teachers. It includes educational content for children in the form of web pages, PowerPoint presentations and videos.
International Children’s Digital Library: This is a not-for-profit website that aims to build a digital library of the best children’s books from around the world. It makes these books freely accessible to children from across the world. Developed by researchers at the University of Maryland, this website takes routine inputs from children who are 7 to 11 years old, in order to make its interface child-friendly and interactive.
KidzSearch: This is another child-friendly search engine that is an alternative to Kiddle. It is powered by Google’s custom search, which ensures that only age-appropriate content is accessible to your little one. It also includes curated lists of videos, pictures and facts sites that are meant just for children.
Teach The Children Well: This website includes a directory of subject-specific links to other sites, which have been put together by a teacher. It is meant basically for primary school students but contains a lot of information that is useful for parents, teachers and older children as well.
Making sure that your little one has access to these child-friendly online resources will allow him to use the Internet in a constructive manner and, at the same time, give you peace of mind.
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