After the complete pile of rubbage that Yahooligans turned into last year (as far as educators are concerned at least), I stopped using its kid-friendly search engine with my students. The amount of “in your face” games, music, and advertisements made it as painful as one of those pre-roll commercials they force you to watch at the movie theaters now. Which of course, made me very, very sad.
Thankfully, a helpful reader made a comment about Quintura Kids, the proverbial Phoenix that has risen from the ashes of Yahooligans. While searching for a new kid-friendly search engine for next year I remembered the comment and started to investigate Quintura Kids. I was very impressed!
It reminded me very much of what used to be so good about Yahooligans; Categories were arranged to groups and sub-groups, the layout of the site is very straightforward and simple, and the focus is definitely on searching and information. Not once did I run across any form of advertisement, and it’s completely game free (YAY!). That means no annoying Shrek advertisements, and no mini-games to distract students from searching. In fact, Quintura Kids has even improved upon the old Yahooligans categories by making them much more fluid and dynamic to navigate. Rather than click on a category like “science and nature” and then be taken to another page with subcategories, Quintura uses a cloud of words. By clicking on “science and nature” (pictured above), the subcategories for that category appear in a cloud around it. Click on one of the subcategories, and you are given the results in a nice, tidy, easy to read window that scrolls down the center of the web-page. Because the categories and subcategories are arranged in clouds, you can still see some of the higher level categories without having to go back to previous pages like you did with Yahooligans.
Given all of these features, and the amazing lack of advertisements, I’m going to try and setup some workshop time at the beginning of next year, so I can show it off to the rest of the staff. This is definitely one of those gems of a site that all elementary and middle school teachers should be using.