As a new homeschooling parent, finding online learning resources that are safe, well-designed, and fun for my kids is important - but inexplicably difficult. That's why I was thrilled to learn about Ask.com's expansion and redesign of AskKids.com.
I've already found Ask.com itself to be a great search engine for my kids, with its suggested searches and images in the sidebars.
But AskKids.com gives me even more confidence. Plus, there's a SUPER FUN feature on the front page.
At the bottom right corner, there's a box with a pen, pencil and highlighter. You can grab one of the utensils with your mouse and draw directly on the page! It rocks. There's also a tab for "stickers" that you can put on your drawing.
Moving on to the search side of things, on the front page, in addition to the traditional search box, there are 5 categories kids can go directly to: Schoolhouse, Movies, Games, Video, and Images.
Clicking on one of the categories brings up even more options along with traditional search results.
Conducting a traditional search was much like doing so on Ask.com There's only one sidebar, on the left, and no images.
I do have two criticisms:
1. The design theme is built around a traditional school setting. Kids are so much more than school. The background design of notebook paper is not a great way to reach kids, who learn much better through visual and interactive approahches and are far more tech-savvy than traditional, old school (pun fully intended) educational methods.
2. The search results have ads taking up a good portion of the space. The same criticism can be made of the Ask.com page. Being user-friendly and not ad friendly almost always wins the day and it would be nice if Ask could figure out a more user-friendly way to make the moolah.
Still, the homepage design is at least better than the old version:
What do you think of the new AskKids.com? Leave us your impressions in the comments.