Forum Friday – Scroogle

While I’m still enjoying the much needed holiday break, I didn’t want to break the new goal I’ve set for myself of sharing great tidbits from the forum. What would it say for all of my New Year’s predictions if I couldn’t even keep pre-new year’s goals for more than 2 weeks?

This week’s Forum Friday comes courtesy of Rick, one of the newest, yet quickly becoming one of the most active, members to the site. The original post can be found or commented on in the General Technology Forum.

Scroogle Logo

Just found this when I was checking stats to see where visitors had come from:
Google results without ads and Yahoo results without ads:

Very interesting concept.

Basically, what the creator of Scroogle, Daniel Brandt, is trying to provide is the same robust search ability of Google and Yahoo, but without all of the advertisements that run alongside of the search results. Many teachers that I know, including myself, have been trained to ignore these ads, but I find students are often distracted by Google’s AdSense advertisements. Many students mistakenly click on one of the first few “sponsored” search results, and find themselves on sites trying to sell them a product or service rather than provide educational material. Many schools that I’ve taught in or visited have image advertisements and banners blocked, but still allow many text ads, which can sometimes lead learners to misleading or inappropriate content.

With the whizbang magic of the Internet, Scroogle is able to find search results from Google or Yahoo, and scrap the advertisements, reducing any risks of “bad” or misleading adverts. While I’m not one to advocate removing valuable teaching moments (No Tommy, that link for “Lincoln Logs” is for a toy you can buy, not information about President Lincoln), I know there are several teachers and schools out there looking for a way to better control what their students are exposed to at school (parents too). That, and there are those, like the creators of Scroogle, who just can’t justify helping Google and Yahoo make anymore money than the billions they already have. It becomes evident by the sarcastic images shown about Google on the Google Scraper search that Scroogle provides. Thankfully, you can place the Google Scraper search on your own website so you aren’t presented with the snide Google commentary.

A great service worth looking at, as some search engines and portal sites continue to “evolve” into increasingly difficult to navigate sites filled with advertisements, videos, music, and more. One less distraction for students is always welcome when it comes time to focus. Thanks Rick!