Visual search engines look too “cool”!


originally uploaded by Danard Vincente.

I have been teaching our students about how to best use search engines and also showing them some alternatives to Google. As homework the boys had to complete some note taking exercises using SearchMe, Viewzi and Cuil.The students loved the visual search engines and even though they were searching and taking notes from the sites they located, they were totally engrossed during the last period for the day. Note taking was not that well received before.

One student completed the work and uploaded it to the appropriate workspace. When the work was checked, the boy had used Google to complete the task. When asked why this was the case, the reply was that his mother had seen SearchMe and told him to “get off that site and use Google!” He tried to explain but she was convinced that he was not right and it was not an appropriate tool for him to be using.

It begs the question, why did she not think that SearchMe was a valid search engine? Did it look like too much fun? Did it just look too different? Has the Google marketing machine really taken over in our collective consciousness?

I am working on an on-line survey, in which I will ask our students to evaluate the search engines we have used this year. Perhaps I will have to extend any survey to the parents of our students as well.


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