I was preparing a list of links on my website yesterday for my students to use, when I brought up Yahooligans, a previously well put together Internet directory designed to help students find learning resources. Alright, so Yahooligans wasn’t the best Internet portal for students, but with the “ASK Earl” section, Ranger Rick online, and free BrainPop videos, it was quite the useful resource. I’m sad to say that the new beta version of Yahooligans has apparently thrown out any emphasis on learning, and appears to be Yahoo’s attempt to create the perfect kid’s game/music/video/sports/entertainment portal. Sure, ASK Earl was still at the top, as was a small link to the “Study Zone”, but any half-asleep, day-dreaming student could tell you that the site is all about the bling.
A rotating flash movie filled with games, movie trailers, and other self proclaimed “Cool Stuff” fills most of the page, with adverts for more games and movies on the side. Towards the bottom appears to be a box filled with popular tags, which takes you to a separate page filled with useful links about the tag. I’ll give it to Yahooligans for putting the whole tagging categories into their new design. Apparently Dinosaurs were popular today, and after clicking on it I was presented with some really great dinosaur websites. The directory however, is now broken. The old style directory had subcategories underneath the main categories, giving students an idea of what was within that particular category. Now, just the main categories are displayed on the Yahooligans Beta Directory, with users guessing as to what they might contain before clicking. Thankfully, the search at the top of the page still functions nicely, but the site as a whole is a far cry from what it used to be. I’d hesitate to even use it with my students now for fear all of the distractions would be too much compared to less obtrusive search engines geared for kids.