Smaller Search Engines Focus on Education

By Rob Klindt

Beyond the wildly popular Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines, there are many lesser-known engines that are tailored especially for educators. The idea behind them is to allow users to get streamlined search results that focus on educational and scholarly topics.

A side benefit is that these programs use search algorithms that allow educators to find nuggets of information they couldn’t easily find elsewhere.

Education-Focused Search Engines

While these search engines aren’t widely known to the public, they offer very good education-focused search results from a variety of academic, government and scientific resources.

IpL is one of many education-focused search engines

  • Ipl2: This search engine includes more than 20,000 scholarly records hand-picked by library science professionals on a range of topics from technology and science to entertainment and law.
    Visit the site
  • Worldcat: Users can streamline their search for books, music CDs, DVDs or digital downloads from their local library, and they also can search multiple libraries at once for hard-to-find items.
    Visit the site
  • Federal Registry for Academic Excellence: This registry allows teachers to search for free digital teaching resources created by the federal government. It includes Common Core Standards subjects.
    Visit the site
  • iSEEK Education: Designed specifically for teachers and students, this search engine pulls trusted results from universities, governments and established non-profit organizations. Content is reviewed by editors.
    Visit the site
  • Clusty: Keyword search results are clustered together from various scholarly sources, documents, labs and other search engines. The program was developed by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University.
    Visit the site

The Big Three

When the focused results of smaller search engines won’t do, educators can always turn to the big three: Yahoo, Google and Bing. In addition to general Web searching, all three offer a good selection of tools, links and resources that can be accessed in the classroom or at home by teachers and students. Among the standouts:

  • Yahoo Multimedia: This stalwart search engine recently stepped up its multimedia search options and rolled out an impressive array of thumbnail images that are tiled across the screen. Users simply roll over images with their mouse for a quick view, or click to follow the source link.
    Visit the site
  • Yahoo Education: This page offers educators links to career development programs, education reference guides and feature articles. Rounding out the page is a handy search box designed for quickly finding schools, degree levels, subject categories and more.
    Visit the site
  • Google Calculator: This easy-to-use tool allows users to type in any math calculation in the text field, then hit the search box to find the answer.
    Visit the site
  • Google Book Search: Users type the name of an author or a book title into a text box, and then click on the “books” link in the top navigation bar to browse book content.
    Visit the site
  • Bing Language Translator: Users can type words, sentences or even a webpage URL into a text box to translate it into one of more than 40 languages.
    Visit the site

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