When I first had the idea of 19Pencils it stemmed from the simple concept that teachers should be able to easily discover and share websites that they found useful in their classroom. It was that simple.
Now with thousands of teachers around the world saving resources with 19Pencils there is more content than ever for teachers to discover, but what about the students themselves?
With all of the content available it made me realize that for a student to be exposed to a resource online, more often than not, a teacher has pointed them to it. Searching for a student, particularly younger ones, is a daunting task at best. Depending on the age of the student this may vary, but lets say the typical 4th grader.
What if a teacher had an assignment where the intent was for the student to search for a specific resource, is there a way to enable the teacher to give the student a little nudge in the direction of finding a particular website? Sending a young student to Google or Yahoo! could be asking for trouble, or at least a bit of wasted time.
Searching For Resources
What if a teacher wants to have some degree of control, but still give the students that opportunity for discovery on their own? Maybe you have an assignment where you want the students to actually search for something, but you want to have some input on the items presented to them?
Simple (Student) Search
Announcing a new feature that can now be found on all 19Pencils member class pages that we call Simple Search. With Simple Search your students can enter keyword or topic and it will search through all of the favorites you have saved. Note this search only applies to your resources so you can have confidence that your students won’t be inundated with thousands or millions of results and the results they are shown are items that you yourself have already designated.
By pooling resources beforehand you can easily narrow down content for your students to access, while still providing them with the learning opportunity of discovering their own results. You can start by finding general resources that your students would find useful, such as resources about space as shown above.
Next, by rolling your mouse of the add to.. menu for any resource, you will be able to place that resource either directly onto your class page, or add it to your favorites for later. By selecting either, the resource can then be discovered by your students by simply searching from your class page as shown below.
Now when your students visit your class page they can have the flexibility of discovering new resources, while you have the confidence of knowing exactly what resources they will discover.