Review by Erin Brereton, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2013

findingDulcinea

Quality search tool with curated resources and links to credible sites

Common Sense says
Teachers say (2 Reviews)
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Grades
6-10 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: The easy-to-navigate site helps kids research dozens of topics.

Cons: A lack of interactivity as well as updated content discourages kids from checking the site, and they don't get feedback on what they're learning.

Bottom Line: FindingDulcinea helps kids quickly find credible websites for study and schoolwork, but it doesn't offer opportunities to build or apply learning.

Teachers and students can use FindingDulcinea to quickly identify sources for research or study and to avoid sifting through dozens of unreliable or irrelevant search engine results. The extensive guides have nearly 20 categories, ranging from automobiles to arts and entertainment. Basically, it's a way to streamline Web searches.

Parent and teacher resources include links to sites that can help educators create lesson plans, online teaching communities, educational podcasts, and other materials.

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FindingDulcinea helps you and your students find credible, quality information online. The site has original content as well as links to external sites with accurate information on many topics and from sources like the Mayo Clinic and Oregon State University. A brief description accompanies each suggested site, and major themes are listed near the top of the article for quick reference. Kids can find content by searching for terms. A search for women's history, for example, turns up a brief overview of the U.S. suffrage movement and a list of linked sources used in the story. Search results also list original content. A detailed index on the homepage lists site sections, and kids can click on navigation tabs and drop-down menus.

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The site's Guide to Web Search ensures that kids learn research practices and how to evaluate sources, although these skills aren't necessary when using FindingDulcinea's curated content. Students can read about more than a dozen current events such as global warming and the conflict in Afghanistan, and the original articles are the right length for kids and thoroughly researched, with source lists that reassure them, and you, that the information is accurate.

In some cases, there are two sections on one topic. The career guide, for example, offers business etiquette and other best-practice information, including networking help and job-hunting tips. A second career page in the Beyond the Headlines section features articles.

FindingDulcinea’s only real drawback is that the content doesn't appear to be updated on a daily, or fairly frequent, basis. The homepage features an item on a daily historical event, but many appear to be recycled from 2011 or 2012. Also, the site has no interactivity.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Good information and links to Web resources help kids research, but the site could benefit from interactive elements. Personal feedback on writing as well as citation use would help.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Beauty tips seem like fluff, but generally the information is well-presented and useful. The info on how to identify suitable Web sources and avoid unsubstantiated ones is helpful. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Links to a large number of external sites have been vetted to ensure they're valuable. Site guides offer an in-depth look at certain topics, and users can post comments on articles or share them via email or social media.


Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Amber P. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
3
FindingDulcinea for finding and curating credible sites

I like that teachers students can jump on and use the free search engine. What the sites offers does seems a little limited. There are other sites out there that hold resources and allow for students to interact with the materials. FindingDulcinea is for consumption use only.

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