Kiddle for Kids
For whatever exists in life there is always normally an adult and a childrens version. If visiting a restaurant, there is an adults and kids menu for example. This all recognises that children are special, and so need catering for in a specific and different way to adults.
Google has finally recognised this and has designed a search engine (a side kick of its normal one) just for children – it is called (cleverly) Kiddle.
The website looks something like this (see below) and you can access it for yourself at http://www.kiddle.co/
As you can see, the traditional Google theme is still present and for this to exist, the designers must have been careful to think of a 6 letter word (Google / Kiddle) to allow the colour theme logo to carry through.
The website also uses Google’s traditional white theme as the background colour, but once again this has been ingeniously adapted to resemble a white planet – or could it be the moon? Most children’s themes always have a character, and this is no exception. Kiddle has a sociable robot (get it?) to assist the children, although I think some adults would find this character quite scary to look at!
The aim is for it to work broadly the same as the Google ‘adult’ search engine, but as you might expect, the results displayed will be heavily restricted depending on what is searched for. This is in order to keep children safe and avoid them finding / clicking on sites which would not be appropriate for their age.
It has been explained that the data will be filtered in a specific way and will appear in the following manner on the search engine results pages:
* Results displayed at positions 1 to 3 will be totally safe sites to browse.
* Results displayed at positions 4 to 7 will be ones which are written in easy language – presumably because it helps kids to understand and learn better.
* Results displayed at positions 8 onwards will be exactly the same as the adult results except inappropriate or unsafe websites will be filtered out.
You can trial the general idea for yourself as a way of comparing the two search engines. If you type a topic ‘for adult eyes only’ into both search engines, you will find modified results as a way of showing the principles of Kiddle at work.
Overall we think this is a very good idea but would like to add a couple of footnotes to this:
1) Apart from the obvious, how can you bring kids up to not use the adult search engine until the time is appropriate?
2) We are likely to see many changes and adaptations (and possibly mishaps) with this. How will those mishaps be dealt with, i.e. if inappropriate content slips through the net? No doubt we will learn about this in one of Kiddle’s updates.
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