Ten years ago when the very first computers with Internet access rolled into my classroom I was so excited. I could finally have the students research in the classroom with the world at their finger tips. However my dreams were quickly pulled back when I got the district's user agreement that said the students could only go to the website that we deemed necessary and that they should never be able to search the Internet. In the Administration's opinion searching the Internet was a time waste with shadowy results. I was opposed to this opinion because while there is great information on the Internet I believed the important thing was for the students to sift through the plethora of information and find Internet "gold" that they needed. That opinion quickly changed when I typed in Reconstruction the night before to gather up more information on the time period after the Civil War. The results were not what I was expecting, I got a full page of "Breast Reconstruction" I just thought what if I had my students do this without checking. I literally dodged a bullet.
Now fast forward to the present... Google (oh the greatness of Google) has enable the average person to create there own Custom Search Engine that only searches the websites that are inputed by the developer. It is simple and easy solution. Now I have the best of both worlds safe and quality results that will also teach the students to sift through information.
Give my CSE a try let me know what you think. If you have site that you would like for me to add please leave them in the comments section.
Here is Google's site on creating your own custom search engine. http://www.google.com/coop/cse/