Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quintura Kids is a new search engine that boasts to be the “first visual search engine for the youngest web users”. They state that they “help to find kid-related information on the web easily and interactively”. At first glance, I noticed the search engine was colorful and eye-catching. Users can click on a word from the “cloud” of topics or type in their own word. What I really liked about Quintura was that the site helps children narrow the number of websites to choose from by clicking on the word clouds that appear. For example, I typed in the word “Germany” into the field and it returned with 47 hits. The “cloud” of subtopics revises above the field to reflect my choice of Germany. Now there are subtopics I can choose that range from pictures to maps to history to famous Germans. If I click on “pictures”, the pages are narrowed to 24 hits. Clicking on “Rhine River” lowers that number to 18, and so on. Children would find this very user friendly when looking for information on the Internet. The only aspect I didn’t like was that the user had to click “new search” hidden in the upper right hand corner of the web page in order to start again. Otherwise words and clicks from the “cloud” would be added onto your existing query. As an educator, I’m not promoting unsupervised surfing on the Internet. Children need to be supervised and have guidelines when on the Internet. (See my previous entry on Internet Safety.)

There is an adult version of this search engine available at It isn’t as colorful, but works the same way as the children’s version. On their home page, they state: “type a query or navigate the cloud; refine your cloud; save it; or share it”. After the user types in a query, he/she can click to “share” the results which will email the page to friends or to save it for later use. How cool!

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