Wednesday, September 05, 2007

One more try at a database search

Maybe that last search was a little unfair because it is not what students in school are really doing. So, how about something that REAL kids are doing. This week the 3rd grade in my school was starting to study biomes. How about that? Let's try.
From the list at my Public Library I can choose Kid Search. The page looks like this:So, I will choose Geography or should I choose science? With Geography I get 7 results:and then if I filter for Books and Encyclopedias it narrows down to 3:If I choose Science I get 9 results, many of which are the same and when narrowed down by Books or Encyclopedias I get the same three results.
If I do a Google Search on Biomes here is what I see:
I know that the Google search has 1,250,000 results, but I am just going to use the first page anyway. On the first page I already have The World's Biomes from UC Berkeley, the Biome page from Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Biome page from Enchanted Learning. These are all kid-friendly accurate sources. hmmmm....


Carolyn Foote said...


The good news is that many online catalogs are now incorporating federated searching.

And the even better news is that our district bought that package for our new library software, so once it's set up in the next couple of weeks, students will be able to search EITHER books or databases all from the same screen.

That way they won't be faced with the bewildering display of choices at the elementary level especially.

But in response to what you are saying, I think we in schools need to put pressure on vendors to simplify their interfaces!

Carolyn Foote said...

You also might enjoy watching Joyce Valenza's Voice Thread--"Why I love Databases!"