Teach Digital Literacy - Don't Use KidRex


KidRex
 made Time's list of top 50 sites this year.  I wonder if they actually tried to search on it.  In theory, I like a site where K-2 students know they can go to find safe web content.  However, KidRex is not a good or recommended site.

 I know that it is our job as educators to teach digital literacy and to teach students to use real resources, like Google, it is also helpful to give them quick access to the data they need without having to worry about inappropriate content.

Unfortunately, this is where KidRex falls short.  The searches may be filtered, but the actual search results are some of the least kid friendly I have seen.  There is no image search and the results are so text-based and skewed that they come back as nearly irrelevant.   Moreover, KidRex misses the chance to actually teach some digital literacy skills.  What is a young person to do with the results except to start clicking on the first one and trust that it is going to give back good data?

My search for "Minnesota" returned these top 6 results:

  • Minnesota Children's Museum - Home
  • Minnesota Child Support Online - Welcome to Minnesota Child ...
  • Minnesota Virtual Academy | Free public home school online
  • Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
  • Children's Defense Fund - Minnesota
  • Minnesota Learning Commons
I seriously doubt that you were looking for any of those when you searched for Minnesota.  

We should teach our students to use Google Safe Search, both at school and at home, and we should teach them to sort through their search results to find the quality and reliable information they are looking for.