Monday, December 8, 2014

Google for kids

When I let my son use my computer, he is usually sitting in my lap (or I am right next to him). He likes to use the mouse, he likes to type his name and we watch videos of Sesame Street friends or PBS videos with child-friendly content.

Sometimes, when we are away from home exploring the world, he asks me a question I don't know the answer to (usually, it's science related). When he hears that I don't know the answer, he says "we'll have to ask the computer when we get home."

It won't be long until he is ready to start asking the computer things for himself.

To help us parents out a bit, Google has announced its intentions to make kid-friendly versions of its products - namely YouTube and Chrome. With the revamped versions, the under-13 crowd will see relevant search results, such as "Thomas the Tank Engine" showing up when children search for "trains."

The happy and hopeful part of me really appreciates this idea. After all, there are junior versions of board games like Clue and Life, so why not have a junior search engine that has results tailored to younger eyes? The skeptical part of me wonders what kind of ads are going to show up on those tailored-for-kid versions.

Either way, my plan is still the same. No matter what search engine we use, I will still be next to him, making sure he is finding safe links and websites to go to.

What's your child's favorite website? Share with me in the comments.

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