Kidtopia a Kid-friendly/Kid-safe Search Website: Overview

A site created by school librarians for elementary school students and their teachers

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Website link: https://www.kidtopia.info/

About Info:

Kidtopia is a site created by school librarians for elementary school students and their teachers.  Kidtopia is a directory and search engine including only websites recommended by teachers, librarians, and library and educational consortia.  Kidtopia is a Google custom search engine of selected sites, so you get much less commercial `junk` in your search results, while still enjoying Google`s cool search features.  Please feel free to comment on Kidtopia and/or recommend websites for inclusion by directing your e-mails to: bell@infotopia.info

Overview:

As the above description from the Kidtopia website indicates, Kidtopia uses Google Custom Search. This allows Kidtopia to limit the websites that are in searched and included in the results of your query. It means that each website that is included has to be reviewed and approved by an actual human. The results are likely to be acceptable to most parents (based on Kidtopia’s judgment) and kid friendly. It states that the review is performed by “by teachers, librarians, and library and educational consortia.” It also means that new websites are not included without manual intervention, and it greatly limits websites to those that have been approved and reviewed. This will sometimes be a limiting factor for searching for current events. They do appear to approve entire websites which would allow some current event information to flow through in searches.

This is a site administered by humans and articles/websites can be added only manually to their approved list. Consequently, this is not based on technology that uses algorithms to attempt to determine what is appropriate for children unless it also uses Google SafeSearch technology. The site does not state if it uses Google SafeSearch or if they have a proprietary algorithm to filter explicit or unwanted content or if it is entirely curated content.

Stated Objective:

Kidtopia is a Google custom search engine of selected sites, so you get much less commercial `junk` in your search results, while still enjoying Google`s cool search features.

About Kidtopia:

Please note that Kidtopia has a “.info” extension and not a “.com” extension.

There is also a Kidtopia blog where you can sign up to receive an email when a new blog post is created. Postings are roughly monthly. As of the beginning of September in 2019 there are 9 posts this year.

Associated websites include Infotopia and Infotrek. Kidtopia has a Youtube channel that is under the infotopia name. There are about 40 videos with the most recent one being uploaded about 2 years ago. Kidtopias YouTube link is not a kid-friendly search option is it a link to their YouTube channel. Be careful, once your child clicks that link, they are in regular YouTube with all of its associated content and the regular YouTube search bar.

Usability:

Kidtopia takes the approach of a search bar like other kid-friendly search websites as well as categories to explore. Your child enters their search terms and presses enter. The main search screen also has a variety of search categories and subcategories. The main search screen looks like this:

You can use the search bar or explore the categories, but they do not work in tandem. Once a search is executed, then the Google results are returned preceded by the Google advertisements required by Google Custom Search. On the results page there is a new header present that allows for the user to search for the same search term already entered within a series of categories. The default is “All results” with the other category options as follows (All results, Sci/Tech/Math, Geography, Music, Definition, History, Literature/Quotations, News/Current Events, Art, Language, Social Sciences, Reference, Images, Animals, Games/Sports/Entertainment, Biography, Health & Medical):

It also has an image search capability. This is likely powered by Google Custom Search as it offers this capability. The images returned were very limited. My search for images of “Lincoln” returned no results. My search for images of “Washington” returned no pictures of George Washington but one image of George Washington Carver and one image of a map of the state of Washington. Kidtopia also has a series of student-friendly websites listed at the bottom of their main search page:

Technology:

Kidtopia uses Google Custom Search. I cannot identify whether Kidtopia also uses Googles’ SafeSearch feature which blocks sexually explicit content.

Traffic most recent 12 months according to SEMrush:

Other Reviews of Kid’s Search:

https://www.digitalcitizen.life/best-search-engines-children

https://www.educatorstechnology.com/2018/01/11-great-kids-safe-search-engines.html

About the Author:

Terry has been an entrepreneur in the IT industry for over30 years. Go here to read his complete personal story, “Husband, father, Grandfather and IT Executive.” If you want to send Terry a quick message visit the contact page Here.

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