If you want children to be self sufficient and self reliant, teaching them to use the internet effectively, goes a long way. This is a great resource where children can get information on a variety of topics which are school related as well as with regards issues they are facing.
Preschool children should be guided by an adult and each move should be explained to them. For example – this is the internet icon. Here is me clicking on it. Now see I am online. Now I am typing out preschool games. This will show me all the preschool games.
You need to ensure that you supervise the child consistently and you explain how these search engines work and also each step needs to be explained to the children.
When children are in the primary, they should be told that they need to double check as not all the information on the internet is accurate. The child should be informed about the dangers of them sharing their personal information. The rules one creates should include the time the child can spend online, the websites they can go to, the information they are allowed to share and even the chat rooms they can use.
The parent should check the history files as well as the temporary internet files to ensure the child is safe. The parents should also set the parental controls and also filters so that spam and adult content will be filtered.
In order to introduce children to search engines, an interesting topic should be chosen. The subject should be age appropriate and one that will be extremely interesting for them and which will spur their curiosity which will make them looking for more topics. Learning how search engines work can also be undertaken by various tutorials which are online.
Here are some ways to help a child : The child should be taught to search using general keywords. Then they should be explained how they need to check beyond the first few results. The child should be taught to use discretion on the genuineness of the source and how they should recheck the information with other sources. The websites which are cluttered with ads, should be avoided as these would try to sell you something. The article should also be checked for the date when it was written. The children should be asked to justify which website would be reliable as well as useful and why.
If you want to search the internet successfully, here are some tips which you can use :
- You should know the search tool. The tips menu and help menu give information on how the search can be improved.
- You should think what you are searching for and what is the best tool which you should look for in order to do the job. Major tools which can be used are Alta Vista or even AskJeeves.
- You should try not to search with Boolean values or parenthesis or even + or – signs
- You should learn how to search using advanced search modes. This allows searching to be more efficient.
- Unique terms should be used as far as possible.
- Directories like those used by Yahoo are available on search tools and these help in the organization of sites into various categories. Using these categories, the search can be focused.
- You can use more than one tool as each search produces different results.
- If you want to search for a phrase, you should enclose it in quotes.
- Sometimes, a site’s tools for searching are not great and therefore you can use Google for searching in a site. What you would need to do is type “site” followed by a colon, the URL which needs to be searched, followed by the text you want to search.
- If you want to search for words which are in the address, you should use the command “inurl” in Google. This allows you to search for websites which you have not found, by putting in the phrase or the keyword.
- If you want to limit your searches to specific domains, you should mention that. For example : .edu, .gov or .org
- If you want to search for a topic, name, phrase or business on the page, you can press Cntrl+F. This will search for the word or the phrase in the page and will highlight it as well.
- You can also use wildcard characters if you want the search to be widened. These are like *, ? as well as #
- If you want to search comprehensively, you can use a meta search engine like metacrawler. This will query different search engines at the same time.
- You can also refine your initial query results by most search engines.
- Also, when you find a good website, you can see if links to similar websites are provided.
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