Today something more geared to the little guys. Meet Kid-Rex, a search engine powered by Google that helps kids cut the clutter and avoids inappropriate results from invading their searches. This engine uses Google Custom Search in a way that already populates the safe search, age, and content settings for you so that you do not have to worry about adjusting any yourself as you open the engine. This technology is paired with KidRex’s own list of inappropriate sites, keywords and search terms to help ensure that all results are appropriate for kids.
Kids can simply log into kidrex.org and type in their search terms as they would in Google. The results are provided on a page that is a little different than the regular Google search result page, but all are guaranteed to be age and content appropriate for children. If you happen to run a search and an inappropriate site’s snuck by, then there is a tool to request the removal of the offending URL under the Parents section.
The downside to having a custom Google search engine is that many of the features available on the full Google site are not present. There is no ability to search exclusively for images or videos, for example. KidRex does provide some hints and tips under the Parents Section for online safety that can help parents understand how to be able to safely provide this content to their children.
As with all sites that are open to the Internet like this, make sure you test it yourself. Try a few searches and use the features to understand how results are provided and organized and then decide whether or not this is something that you would be able to safely use with your students. The loss of full Google features here is well worth the trade-off for content appropriate for all ages and grade levels.