A recent AOL initiative to target K-12 students has resulted in StudyBuddy.com, one of the first targeted search engines geared towards educational subjects. StudyBuddy.com is composed of AOL-based search programs including AOLÃ?Â® Research & Learn and AOL@School. The site features games, activities, and forums for pulling together much-needed research for the homework needs of young students.
Researching information online is becoming easier and more efficient with sites such Google Scholar and Yahoo!’s educational component. However, StudyBuddy.com takes it one step further with subscription-based learning tools and a signature Backpack. The Backpack works much like a shopping cart, and remains active for 30 days. The StudyBuddy.com lets users find and sort information, keep it in the Backpack for easy retrieval during an assignment, and then ‘throw it away’ once research is complete. Results on all searches offer articles, audio, video, website links, and family-friendly libraries. The customized homepage makes StudyBuddy.com an effective tool for young users to sort and find information without going to larger search engines.
AOLÃ?Â® has taken steps to partner up with resourceful sites to obtain results of topic searches. Key sites and sources within StudyBuddy.com’s network include National Geographic, MapQuest Atlas, Beacham’s Book Notes, and World Book Encyclopedia. Videos are indexed from NASA and Math Mastery, and additional databases are incorporated from Brain Quest, Leapfrog, and the World Almanac Book of Records.
The Family Library database offers additional features on a subscription basis. Users can pay $4.95 per month to access grade-specific searches across a variety of media-rich sources. Educational premium services serve as supplemental learning tools; online tutors, extra help and advice, and forum interaction can bring a much-needed boost throughout the semester for a struggling student. These homework tools may be a valuable feature of StudyBuddy.com that can enhance the student’s overall experience. The AOLÃ?Â® Writing Wizard, AOLÃ?Â® Ready Set Read, and AOLÃ?Â® Step by Step Math can encourage and enhance a student’s reading, writing, and mathematical skills after school in a fun and easy format.
Indexing data with aggregators such as StudyBuddy.com offer opportunities for faster, more efficient searches. Users of StudyBuddy.com can employ and enjoy targeted search results and more topic-sensitive relationships within each link, folder, and index. The portal can be an efficient platform for K-12 students who are working on projects that need additional research and resources. Finding answers and media resources for topics is making learning fun and more data-focused; it’s a far cry from just a trip to the library!