Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Kiddle: New Google-Style Search Engine for Kids

When my son was only five or six years old, he accidentally stumbled on a completely inappropriate YouTube video when he was searching for "Store Wars", a Star Wars parody video we'd watched as a family.

That one incident led to a lot of effort on my part to protect my kids from dangers online. I removed the browser access from the iPad, switched all the computers over to Chrome and logged them in using my name with the safe search settings locked on. But despite this safe search option, there are still things that slip through. The reality is my kids often need access to the search engines in order to research and complete school projects.

You can only imagine my delight at learning yesterday that a new company has launched a visual search engine for kids that is carefully curated by editors and safe search. Children can use Kiddle to search the web, images, videos, and news in a safe manner. When a child enters keywords into the search bar, the first three links in the lists go to sites written specifically for kids and hand-picked by the editors, who also select the next 3 or 4 links to web pages with simplified text that children can understand. And then the rest of the links are to more complex sites that are curated by safe search.

And the videos to which the site links are safe, too. Most of the ones I found went directly to SprogTube.

So yes, you could do a search on Miley Cyrus without having her twerking video coming up in the results. In fact, I tried typing various things myself into the search bar and was pleased to see that it redirects kids with a gentle admonition:


One of my current stresses is Minecraft. My kids constantly want to look up videos or instructions for it. I agonize over letting them watch the instructional videos and try to always be around when they do in case there is something I don't want them to learn. (ALWAYS monitor your child's time online! NO computers in bedrooms where you can't see what is on that monitor whenever they are online.)

In addition, Kiddle doesn't collect any personal information and clears its logs every 24 hours to protect your child's privacy.

But my favorite part is that the company realizes that this is a partnership with parents and it uses parents to help it manage the content displayed. So if you run across something inappropriate and undesirable, you can submit keywords or even whole websites to be blocked.

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