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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Not quite there yet

From the Tech Savvy Educator I read about the Quintura for Kids project. At first glance the search tool seems to meet the web 2.0 needs for our younger crowd now that Yahooligans has lost it’s high esteem among some LM_NET users. I’m ready to embrace visual search engines because I am a dedicated Kidspiration and Inspiration user. Chris Harris keeps recommending new web 2.0 tools for me to play with online like, but I don’t think we are quite there yet with this tool. I have my hopes that this project will continue to evolve and just get better. In the meantime, I was frustrated with some of the ego-centric searches I performed using terms like "Nashville", "Civil War", and the "Parthenon." I want to be able to refine my searches better.  Perhaps if I were just browsing through TV, Movies, Music, Computers and Games, and "Around the World" I would be happy to settle. In the meantime, I hope yahoo continues to work on this to give it more depth. We need tools like this for our students.

I’m also hoping that  AquaBrowser  from MediaLab via TLC will be coming soon to our students and faculty because I can’t wait. If you haven’t tried it yet, take a look at the Queens Library site or at the Arlington Public Library’s version for kids. AquaBrowser Library is a search tool and interface that connects a visual search engine with the library’s resources, external sources, and even teaches the user visually while they search. It uses a visual word cloud to help the user zoom in. I’m excited for my students but more excitedly for the new librarians and older students who have grown accustomed to tagging and word clouds in other areas of their lives. The simple Search, Discover, and Refine modes make me giddy. 

What new tools for the younger crowd are ready for us to master this summer so we can teach in the fall?