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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kids' Online Search Habits

Last week Read Write Web ran an article about Norton's survey of kids' online search habits. The survey created a list of the 100 terms most commonly searched by kids. What is interesting about this list is that it revealed that many times kids will search for a term rather than enter the url. For example, instead of typing youtube.com into the url bar, kids are searching for youtube. The same is true in the cases of Gmail, Facebook, and Google (which makes me wonder if they were "Googling" Google).

The RWW article and the Norton list both make me wonder what kids are being taught about how to use the Internet or if they're being taught at all in some cases. Does your school district have a program in place to teach students the difference between the url bar and the search bar? Who does that teaching, is it the responsibility of the general classroom teacher or is there someone whose job it is to just teach computer and internet use? Which way is most effective?

This is the method used by Norton to generate the survey results.
"Between February 2009 and July 2009, Symantec tracked a total of 3.5 million searches that were submitted by users of their OnlineFamily.Norton service. The list of search terms was ranked from those submitted most frequently to those submitted the least. In order to be included in the list of kids’ top search terms, a search term had to have been submitted at least 50 times by registered users of OnlineFamily.Norton."


Image credit: Flickr user Old Shoe Woman

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