School Library Encyclopedias & Databases
For consistently reliable and appropriate sources of information, students should visit the webpages for their school libraries, where they will find links to Britannica School, an online encyclopedia ideally suited for elementary and junior high students, and/or the wide selection of Gale and other reference databases, which are freely available to all teachers and students from Internet-enabled devices in our schools. Please see the library staff for usernames and passwords required when using the sources from home.
Student-Friendly Search Engines
Created and managed by librarians, KidsClick is a search directory that can be safely used by young students. The design isn't great, and the search results will be limited, but because all sites listed have been approved, teachers (and parents) can be assured that the resources provided are appropriate and credible. Students can search by key word or by category, and specifically for images, videos, and audio clips.
This web directory searches only 35,000 websites that have been researched, evaluated, and approved by a team of experts, librarians, and teachers. Designed for students of all ages, SweetSearch will yield results that are more likely to be appropriate and relevant for school assignments that a Google search. Note that SweetSearch does not provide an image-only search, although the websites returned include images that will likely be appropriate for school.
Appropriate ImagesWhenever possible, students should use their own images or original artwork for student projects. When students need to find other images, they should always use sites that will return images that are safe, appropriate, and copyright-friendly. In other words, they shouldn't just "Google it."
In addition to Britannica School and the Gale databases, students can use the following sites, which will return thousands of high quality, safe images that can be used without permission for educational purposes:
Creative Commons was created as an alternative to restrictive copyright laws, and allows authors and creators of images, animations, music, and more to license their works for use. Students can use Creative Commons to search for images and other content that can be re-used, sometimes without attribution (although it's important to check the licensing terms). A Creative Commons search can be filtered by type of use and the search tool, which can include Google, Flikr, Open Clip Art Library, Pixabay, Sound Cloud, and more.