InfoTrek

Free! InfoTrek is a search engine created specifically for high school students. From InfoTrek’s main page, users can enter a term in the search box, and they can use traditional commands to search (e.g., the use of quotation marks, conjunctions, and truncation). Once the information is entered, InfoTrek will then report the results. If users wish to search by topic, they can click one of the topic icons above the dialog box that includes: (1) Science, Technology, & Math; (2) Biographies; (3) Art & Recreation; (4) Literature; (5) Social Studies/History; (6) Quotations; (7) Health, Nutrition, Medicine, & Disease; (8) Images,…

Review Overview

A. Instruction - 7.4
B. Design - 6.9
C. Engagement - 7.7

7.3

Working to Make the Internet Safe for Students

7
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InfoTrek is a search engine created specifically for high school students. From InfoTrek’s main page, users can enter a term in the search box, and they can use traditional commands to search (e.g., the use of quotation marks, conjunctions, and truncation). Once the information is entered, InfoTrek will then report the results. If users wish to search by topic, they can click one of the topic icons above the dialog box that includes: (1) Science, Technology, & Math; (2) Biographies; (3) Art & Recreation; (4) Literature; (5) Social Studies/History; (6) Quotations; (7) Health, Nutrition, Medicine, & Disease; (8) Images, Audio, & Video; and (9) Languages. InfoTrek then loads subtopics that users can browse. If they find a subtopic of interest, users can click it and InfoTrek automatically loads the subtopic in the search box. When viewing search results, users can browse all the results or narrow their search using the topics below the search box. They can also choose whether they view results found on the web or just images, and they can organize their results by date. Finally, when users find something of interest reported by InfoTrek, they can click it to access its content.

Instructional Ideas

  1. When conducting online research about a topic, teachers could direct them to this search engine to help promote online safety at school.
  2. Teachers can have students compare this search engine to other popular search engines, such as Google, Bing, and MSN. For each search engine, students can list the engine’s strengths and shortcomings. After making these comparisons, students can write a paragraph that identifies which search engine they prefer and a rationale in support of their preference.
  3. Teachers can have students create an annotated list of search results. To do so, students can search a specific subject using the topics and subtopics provided by this website. Next, students can view the search results, and they can rank the most important three, five, or seven results. For each result included on their ranking, students can write the citation for the resource and a 2-5 sentence summary of its content. Students can write their annotated list using an Office app.
A1. Rigor
A2. 21st Century Skills
A3. Conn. to Future Learning
A4. Value of Errors
A5. Feedback to Teacher
A6. Level of Material
A7. Cooperative Learning
A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.
B1. Ability to Save Progress
B2. Platform Integration
B3. Screen Design
B4. Ease of Use
B5. Navigation
B6. Goal Orientation
B7. Information Presentation
B8. Media Integration
B9. Cultural Sensitivity
C1. Learner Control
C2. Interactivity
C3. Pace
C4. Flexibility
C5. Interest
C6. Aesthetics
C7. Utility

Screenshots

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