Student Web Search

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

While no search engine is 100% safe, those that integrate Google SafeSearch (a default setting at AB Schools) and employ editors to review content are more likely to return results that are safe and appropriate for children. Also known as search directories, these customized search engines are a better choice than Google for young students.

KiddleThis safe, visual search engine for kids is powered by Google but vetted by a team of editors. Most Kiddle search results are illustrated with images to help children scan and choose the most appropriate sites. Typically the first three results to each query are kid-safe sites and pages written specifically for children and hand-picked by the editors at Kiddle. Results 4-7 are also hand-picked by the editors, and include safe, trusted sites that are not specifically written for kids, but have simple, easy-to-understand content. Finally, all the following results are written for adults, but filtered by Google SafeSearch.

KidRexUsing both Google SafeSearch and its own database of inappropriate websites and keywords, KidRex is designed to provide a safer Internet search engine for young children. KidRex researchers test KidRex daily to emphasize kid-related webpages and ensure the search results are as safe as possible. The results are more limited that those found with a standard search engine, but the risk of an inappropriate site is much lower.

Appropriate Images

Whenever 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.