A year ago, we introduced SweetSearch, A Search Engine for Students, and we explained why it is the best search engine for them to use. It was a bold concept – a search engine whose Web resources had been evaluated by actual research experts as well as teacher and librarian consultants. We didn’t apply a filter – we created a whitelist. Reviews have uniformly praised SweetSearch as an outstanding tool for students, who generally lack the necessary skill used to differentiate between credible results and those that lack authority.
During this school year, we’ve learned of another group of people that may actually appreciate SweetSearch even more than students – teachers.
While most educators have the wisdom and experience to review dozens of search results to find the most useful one, they don’t always have the time. As Paul Gilster, a technology journalist, wrote in the News Observer about SweetSearch:
“Search here and you're working in a universe of checked, verifiable sources and solid information....Google or Bing may find many of the same sites, but what I've noticed is that some of the better sites for a particular topic wind up deep in their search results, often outranked by Web pages more commonly used but of inferior quality....I was impressed with SweetSearch's focus on credible scholarship and emphasis on primary source materials.”
Teachers are learning that if they search in this reliable “universe” they can quickly build their lesson plans, find blogs and advice from fellow educators, and discover primary resources, which are often harder to locate using the internal search function of sites such as The Library of Congress or National Archives.
SweetSearch has also integrated Yolink, a tool that highlights keywords in context, showing how many times the term is used and in what context, so that anyone can quickly scan a page and easily determine which results will be most helpful for a particular task. The search terms and surrounding context can then be saved to a Google Doc (with the link included), EasyBib's citation generator, or a social bookmarking service. So you not only can find what you’re looking for in seconds, but you can be sharing it with colleagues moments later.
There’s only one way to know whether SweetSearch can be useful to you. Try it for yourself. Today. Why not right now?
On behalf of all your friends at findingDulcinea/SweetSearch, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!