Search Engines for Kids

Before we even get started with Search Engines, we need to understand a little more about how search engines work. View the video below from the very good Common Craft Plain English series on Web Search – Strategies in Plain English

SquirrelNet
SquirrelNet is a kids only search engine that has Google SafeSearch activated. From the homepage itself, you can also access the Google directory of websites relevant for children.

Dib Dab Doo & Dilly Too!
The search engine is again based on Google Custom Search and it tries to keep the content as children friendly as possible.

Kids Click!
A web search site designed for kids by librarians – with kid-friendly results!

Boolify
Librarians, teachers and parents have told us how hard it is for students to understand web searching. Boolify helps students bridge that gap by visualizing the process and letting students interact with the abstract concept behind the search process in a tangible and hands-on way.

Check out this 1:25m video on how to get started with Boolify

 

Search Engines for Kids
– and what they search –

No Search Engine is entirely 100% safe. Custom search helps to keep out a lot of unsavory links, but it is definitely not foolproof. Most of the search engines for kids also display ads with some undesirable ones sneaking in. Parental control software in combination with these search engines can help to keep children shielded from the bad side of the web. It is a tough battle but at least with these sites, parents and teachers can worry a little less.

As with any use of technology, the lesson will always include strategies for what to do when the “undesirables” sneak in.

Information also adapted from: Make Use Of: 10 Search Engines for Kids with Safe Browsing

Help! My Meta Widget Disappeared!

A lot of students have been changing their theme this year only to discover that the meta widget (the little widget that helps you log in) has “disappeared!”  Well the good news is, it hasn’t actually disappeared and there is a way to get it back.

First, you need to know:
Each theme comes with it’s default widgets – that means all themes start off with certain widgets automatically when you switch to a different theme.  Sometimes the default widgets do NOT include a meta widget.

If your meta widget has “disappeared”:

  • Type the url of your blog into the address bar:  (I’ll use my URL as an example) https://blogs.isb.ac.th/chrissyh
  • Add /wp-admin to the end of the url so it now looks like this:
    https://blogs.isb.ac.th/chrissyh/wp-admin
  • Click enter/return

You should now be able to log into the backend of your blog.

  • Go to Appearance, then widgets
  • Find the Meta widget and drag it back onto the sidebar
  • Remember to click save

You should be able to see the Meta widget on the frontend of your blog again!  See? I told it was easy!

 

Leaving a Comment on Someone’s Blog

We are learning how to be better commentors on blogs.  Here are some thoughts from our class discussion.

  • Refer to the facts of the post: Comment on the things that are interesting and new to you
  • Make Connections: Relate and compare things you are reading in the post to things that you already know.
  • Ask Questions: What about the content of the post is confusing to you? What don’t you understand? Remember that there will ALWAYS be questions in an active thinker’s mind!
  • Give Your Opinions: Make judgments about what you are reading. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Like? Dislike? Do you support or oppose anything that you have read? Why?

You could use the following sentence starters below to help you begin your comment

This reminds me of…
This is similar to…
I wonder…
I realized…
I noticed…
You can relate this to…
I’d like to know…
I’m surprised that…
If I were ________, I would ______________
If __________ then ___________
Although it seems…
I’m not sure that…

Adapted from: Bill Ferriter’s Digitally Speaking

Virtual School Activated

Flickr Photo Download: Sorry We're Closed

attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tommy-ironic/61969725

ISB will be closed Thursday 20th October and Friday 21st October 2011.  All classroom blogs will activate a Virtual School Blog Post by 9am, Thursday morning.  Each blog can be accessed via our Inside ISB Elementary Blog.
Click on your child’s classroom teacher’s name on the right hand side of the Inside ISB Elementary Blog front page.

There are also plenty of links to a wide variety of websites full of activities and games for learning on our Home Learning Links page on Inside ISB Elementary.

Happy Virtual Schooling!

Good Comments & Great Comments



Today in Grade 3, Ms H and the students were talking about “what makes a great comment”. We also talked about making “good comments” into “great comments”.

After much discussion and brainstorming, here’s what we came up with.

A good comment:
  1. Is positive
    (it doesn’t make someone feel bad about themselves)
  2. Is always polite
    (that means it’s not mean or nasty and there’s no swear/curse words either)
  3. Stays on topic
    (your comment matches what the author of the post is talking about)
  4. Is more than one word!
    (one word comments are not very helpful and neither a lot of exclamation marks!)
  5. Sometimes disagrees with what someone says in their post
    (but remember Number #2 – and explain why you disagree)

A great comment is everything from 1- 5 with an added extra!

  • Is useful
    (gives a piece of advice on how to make the post better or improve something, if possible)

What does everyone else think?  Have we missed anything?

Image used under Creative Commons License by Mis Miah: https://www.flickr.com/photos/35438812@N00/4191979465/

Guide to Navigating A Blog – Made by Grade 2 Students!

Hi there, new Grade 2/3/4/5 bloggers!  Check out these very clever Grade 2 bloggers from MJDGS and the video they made to teach their parents how to navigate their classroom blog.

Blog Tutorial from langwitches on Vimeo.

What did you think? It was pretty awesome wasn’t it? Do you think we could make something similar for our parents?
How do you think MJGDS students put this together?
How much did they prepare before filming?
What do you think they prepared before filming? During filming? After filming?
What would we have to do to make our video just as good?
Could all the grades work on one video together or do we need a video for every grade?

Being Safe Online

As you begin to blog this year at ISB, there’s a lot of things that we all need to learn more about.  Keeping ourselves safe online is a pretty important topic so here’s a fun way for us to start!

Task One

  • Watch the video below (Thanks Mr Mayo for posting this one)
  • Talk with 3 others and brainstorm all the “not-so-safe” things that Jennifer does
  • Leave a comment on this post listing everything that your group could think of
  • Now check out the Smart-Rules

 

A Message for Japan

It was all hands on deck in the Elementary School this afternoon as we tried to make 1000 paper cranes as a symbol of peace, health and happiness for the people of Japan.  
Over the past week and a half, the ES, MS & HS have been running various fundraisers to raise money for those living in the devastated by earthquake and tsunami parts of Northern Japan.

Here’s one Grade 3’s class effort, folding as many paper cranes as we could in an hour.

Wylio – Embedding Creative Commons Images & Attribution Made Easy!

Introducing Wylio.com **** Updated scroll to bottom****

To use when you need to embed a Creative Commons image in a blog post.

This site is SO simple, so easy and only 4 steps from finding a creative commons image to embedding it in a post for your blog!!

Step 1

Free Pictures - Wylio.com

Step 2

Step 2

Step 3

step3

Step 4

step 4
All images uploaded with Skitch!

You can still use compfight – but wylio is so much easier for embedding creative commons images & the bonus is the attribution is done for you – all in only 4 EASY steps!

***Update****

Wylio.com - free pictures

Of course, in this ever changing world of technology – Wylio has changed slightly since I first posted about it!
Due to it’s growing popularity ….. Wylio now requires you to create a free account & login to use.  You can use your google account if you have one!

My advice, for classroom teachers would be to create a class google account for Wylio – one email address, one password – for the whole class to remember.
(A class google account can come in handy for all kinds of other things in the classroom – another blog post for later).

Using Compfight, Downloading Images & Giving Attribution

IMPORTANT NOTE:
These instructions are only if you need to download creative commons images to your desktop to use in another programme on your computer – such as KeyNote, PowerPoint, iMovie, Word, SMARTNotebook etc.

(These instructions refer specifically to PowerPoint, but can be applied to other programmes.)

If you are looking for Creative Commons images to use on your blog, (in a prezi or anything else that’s online and can take embed code) – check out this post with instructions instead.

  1. Open Firefox.  Type this URL in the address – compfight.com
  2. Microsoft Word-1
  3. Type in your search word (keyword) and click search
  4. VERY IMPORTANT! (see arrows for the settings)
    Make sure Creative Commons, Safe Search & Show originals are black (not blue)
    Don’t click on the Shutterstock images (on the right-hand side) they aren’t free!

  5. Click on the image you like (a new tab will open).

    Image search for white clouds | Compfight | A Flickr™ Search Tool

    Download Steps

  1. Click on the Action button; scroll down to View all sizes.
  2. Make sure the size is at least 600 x 600 (or bigger). Sometimes it’s called the Large or the Original size
    actions_allsizes
  3. Click on the Download link.
  4. All sizes | DSCN2106 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!-1

  5. VERY IMPORTANT STEP
    This dialogue box will open:

    saving

    Make sure the dot is in the “Open with” circle.  Click OKWAIT for the photo to open.

  6. Click File, scroll down to click on Save As …
  7. Rename the file (what is the photo?). Make sure you keep the .jpg (file extension).
    Save to Desktop.  Click Save.Save Image

    Close the photo file & the download box but DO NOT close Firefox

  8. Use the back button on Firefox.
  9. backbutton

  10. Highlight and copy (command c) the URL of the image you have used.
  11. url highlight

  12. Use the F3 key on the keyboard to find your PowerPoint.
    Paste the URL on the last slide. (Attribution Slide)
    Use the F3 key to go back to the flickr page.
    Find the name of the owner of the image. (top right hand side)
  13. Ever wondered why blue jeans and white shirt is such a timeless classic combination? | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

  14. Write that name on the PowerPoint slide too. (see below)

Remember – proper Attribution (giving credit to the owner of a piece of work) means:

  • Write down their Name (either Real Name or Online Name)
  • Include a link (URL) to where you found their work

You can download a PDF version of these instructions here:  Using Compfight