Learning Fun for Kids Online

Home school and after school, kids online can access some great sites and games that are both educational and fun. This site reviews and links to the best, and also discusses some parenting articles and homework sites of interest to parents.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Math Dictionary

Need a quick answer?

You're in luck if the question is about a math term, like the very popular "what's a cute triangle?" (sigh). It's exactly what you need if you don't want these Herman cartoons to apply to you:

A Maths Dictionary for Kids is great resource for students through high school (and their math-deficient parents). It includes not only simple and colorful diagrammed definitions that are easy to understand, but also more than 250 printable charts or posters -- and it's all free.

Because the site owner is Australian, British spelling conventions are used (for instance, maths vs math and metre vs meter). Just another learning opportunity!

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posted by Stephanie @ Sunday, January 06, 2013   0 comments

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Sweet Search - the search engine for students

There's a search engine for kids.

Called SweetSearch, it claims that every website in it has been evaluated by a staff of research experts, teachers and librarians.

This search engine for students searches only those approximately 35,000 approved sites. In its About page, SweetSearch says "We constantly evaluate our search results and "fine-tune" them, by increasing the ranking of Web sites from organizations such as the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, PBS and university Web sites."

The benefit of SweetSearch is that:
it helps students find outstanding information, faster. It enables them to determine the most relevant results from a list of credible resources, and makes it much easier for them to find primary sources. We exclude not only obvious spam sites, but also marginal sites that read well, but lack academic or journalistic rigor. As importantly, the very best Web sites that are often buried on other search engines appear on the first page of SweetSearch results. (source)
So I gave it a whirl.

My grade 9 daughter had worked on a geography project for a tiny northern Quebec community called Schefferville. The search results for this town on SweetSearch are very different from those on Google -- with many more articles offered on SweetSearch giving a more personalized (and interesting) view of the area rather than simply historical and repetitive wikipedia-like entries.

Using both search engines (Google and SweetSearch) seems to give the most comprehensive look at a topic. I agree with this finding:
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." (source)

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posted by Stephanie @ Tuesday, January 01, 2013   0 comments