Professional Learning | Empower Teachers

Tips and Tricks for Safe Searching

There are safe search engines for kids. There are several that use Google for the results and filter out inappropriate articles. 

There are also other resources for you and your students to use to find information. 

We have everything at our fingertips when we are using the Internet. We want to find our information quickly, but at the same time it needs to be accurate and we want to be able to search safely too. 

There are search engines built especially for kids. There are also video resources and forums where information is shared. The key is learning how to sift through the information to answer your question. 


1. There are several search engines that are powered by Google custom search. They are monitored by their creators so that information that is inappropriate is filtered out when students do a search. These websites are helpful for students as they learn to do a Google search without going to The only negative to these sites are some of them have ads on the sites. The students will have to learn to ignore them and go straight to the information. 

They are:

Kid Rex    Kiddle   KidzSearch

kidtopia    factmonster    cybersleuth


2. Visit each of the websites and do the same topic search.

  • Did you bring up the same resources?
  • On your Google Document, compare and contrast the three. 
  • Would you use any of these search engines with your students?

3. Did you know that there are discussion forums where you can ask and have questions answered? Most likely you will not have your students do this, but it is a convenient way for you as a teacher to have a question answered. Forums are very helpful when you have questions about software applications and technology. 

3. Type a question into the normal Google search box and it will often lead you to a discussion forum. Your question may have already been answered in the forum, if not, type your question in the forum.

3. Identify the question you asked and the one or two forums you were directed to. Add your question and some of the answers received in your Google Document. Was the answer helpful?

NOTE: ***It is very important to not reveal personal information online and in a forum. You should not friend, chat or give your email out. To learn more about staying safe go to Quest 2 Danger! on the 21Things4Students website.

TIP: Threads are a collection of Posts. The Posts are the replies in the Threads. 

Discussion Forum

4. A great way to learn how to do something is to use YouTube or SchoolTube.  There seems to be a video for just about everything! What you and your students need to decipher is the accuracy of the information.

4. Go to YouTube or SchoolTube and locate a video about the topic you have been researching. How reliable is the information? Create a citation for the video and copy the link into your Google Document.


  • We know that when we use MeL that the information is accurate and reliable. 

  • With Google and other online search engines, we have to be careful as the information most likely has not been checked for accuracy by an authority on the subject.

After completing the four steps, move on to Evaluation.

Addressing the ISTE Standards For Educators

1a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
1c. Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.

2b. Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, 
evaluation, curation and adoption of 
new digital resources and tools for learning.

3b. Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
3c. Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.