Dewey Decimal System

  • If you are not already using OCLC’s Dewey Decimal screensaver on your Inquiry terminals at school, then this is a good one to download from the site below.  It consists of pacman-like ‘creatures’ which bounce around the screen demolishing each Dewey Decimal background as it appears, and is very appealing to   kids.                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • If you’re looking for sites to teach the Dewey system, try these ones:  ‘KidsClick!’ – a site arranged by DDS by librarians for kids.  ‘Can you do the Dewey?’  (Level 2 is a bit hard for primary students)  ‘Let’s do Dewey’ (there is an exercise about half way down the page) ‘Dewey Decimal System at (a number of links for students and teachers including a game, webquest, and clipart)

Top 10 Alternative Search Engines of 2008

According to Charles Knight, editor of AltSearchEngines, in the following list are the best 10 search engines available on the web today.

He says “In terms of user experience, the gap between the major search engines and their alternatives continues to widen — a lot. Google has been compared to a luxury liner that turns around very, very slowly, whereas the startups [alternatives] are speedboats that can turn (or innovate) on a dime. I guarantee that if you try any of these top 10 alternative search engines of 2008, you won’t come away saying, “Hey, that was just like Google.”

Cha Cha  –  call 1-800-2ChaCha from your mobile phone and the answer will be sent to you as a text message

Cooliris  –  a moving picture wall of images and video clips

Faroo  –   this search engine “relies on the P2P (peer-to-peer) network, which connects members with each other through their PCs. The result is an organic-looking web that can grow as the Internet grows, but without the need for massive servers”

KallOut  – select any text on any web page, drag your mouse over it and KallOut will search on it

Kosmix  –  “For every search query, you essentially get an on-the-fly multimedia encyclopedia laid out on one page”

Mednar  – a health and medical search engine

Quintura  – gives you results in a word cloud rather than a list

Seeqpod  –  a music search engine

SurfCanyon  –  “Surf Canyon actually watches what you do — and don’t do — and what you click on, and it instantly pulls search results from deeper pages (say, page 8) and brings them forward if it determines that they can save you time — a lot of time.”  –  “an alternative search galaxy” for photo searching

Alternative Search Engines

If you would like to show your students some different search engines to Google, have a look at these:

Kartoo:  This search engine shows reults visually in the form of a map. When you run your mouse over various parts of the map, different links are highlighted to show the relationships between different search results.  This could be useful for students who are visual learners and prefer images to text.



Grokker:  This is another visual search engine where you can choose to search Yahoo, Wikipedia and Amazon Books. It creates a circular map showing your search results. Those links which are more targeted will show up as large dots on the map; others further down the list will be smaller. As you click on each link, the map zooms in closer.



Clusty:  When you type a search term into Clusty, it automatically groups or categorises the results into ‘clusters’ where you can see at a glance the results most relevant to the type of information you were looking for.



CactiSearch:  This is a meta-search engine  which searches 4 other search engines at once – Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN – similarly to Dogpile. However, unlike Dogpile it gives you the option to look at all results together, or separates them into 4 different sets of results:


SearchMe:  My favourite though is this one, a visual search engine which displays the front page of each web site in your search list. As you scroll across the page each web page flicks over to the next. Each time you search, it also brings up category icons at the top of the page which you can click on to refine your search. This is a great one for students to use.


I have used this PPT by Kathy Schrock, called Wading Through the Web, for a number of years now. It is a good one to use with Yr 6-8 students to teach them about alternative search engines. You can save it and alter it to suit the topic the students are studying. I have also found that some of the links do not match the information exactly any more because the search engines have changed (e.g. Vivisimo now uses Clusty to search), so that’s another reason to download it and alter it to suit.,12,Wading Through the Web 

There is also a printable handout to use with the PPT at this link: